Chefs Move to Schools hosts Snack Attack!
Bowman International and Barron Park School in Palo Alto, CA
(in conjunction with Bay Area Tasting Week)
Students seat themselves on floor cushions and Snack Attack! begins. Chef Laura Stec, her volunteers, and a whole foods show and tell platter of brown rice, corn, milk, nuts, and oranges are ready as the curtain goes up on the fun.
The students, ranging from grades 4 – 8, are asked what a whole food is, and why whole foods are healthier to eat than processed foods. Next to the whole foods are two more covered plates. With a little “abracadabra,” chef Laura whips off one cloth to reveal a new platter of white rice, canned corn, yoghurt and orange juice.
“What’s the difference between foods on plate #1 and plate #2?” she asks. How does brown rice turn into white rice, and milk into yoghurt? Did you know that white rice is actually brown rice with its’ clothes off?”
With another flick of a wrist, the magician-chef turns plate #3 into something totally different – this time it’s a plate loaded with Dorritos, a rice crispy treat, ice cream, a Snickers bar and an orange soda. “What happened to these foods? How does corn become Dorritos, or milk become ice cream?”
Next, students volunteer to do a theatrically tongue-twisted reading of the ingredients in the bag of Dorritos. (This takes quite awhile due to the amount of foreign and hard to pronounce ingredients – try it yourself and see.) Then we approach the subject of sugary snack foods and drinks.
Chef Laura: “This jar of sugar weights three pounds.” How many of these jars does the average person eat each year? (Answer: 50) So where are we getting all this sugar from - should I just hand you a spoon and let you get at it?” Giggles run through the group as the answer emerges - sugar hides in many foods we eat.
Q: What food is responsible for most sugar we eat?
A: Soda pop.
How many teaspoons are in an average 12 oz can of soda? Chef Laura stacks sugar cubes to count:
Orange soda = 12 cubes / 12 teaspoons sugar
Orange juice = 6 cubes / 6 teaspoons sugar
Discussion ends by looking at how foods bad for our health are also bad for the health of the planet. The class reviews:
Factory farms: Why do we raise our cows in factory farms and how does this practice harm the animals, the planet, and contribute to global warming?
Sugar: How does growing massive amounts of sugar cane for processed sugary drinks contribute to serious environmental problems?
From there, Snack Attack! invades the kitchen. Volunteers and chef Laura lead three hands-on stations where students learn to make tasty snacks good for people and the planet! Hear what the students had to say:
Snack Attack! Menu
Fresh Banana Ice Cream Amazing! You’ll scream too for this 100% frozen banana dessert. Rachel, “Oh my gosh this is sooo good!”
Mochi Waffles & Toasted Rice Cakes with Nut Butter & Winter Squash Topping Bar
Topping bar: grated carrots, sliced celery, pumpkin seeds, coconut, sunflowers seeds and dates. Ethen: “I never had mochi before but it’s good – sticky and sweet!”
Maple Spiced Nuts with Sliced Fuyu Persimmon Julia: “I like it – kinda tastes like Snickers!”
The Chefs Move to Schools program, founded in May 2010, is an integral part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative and its goal of solving the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. Special thanks to our volunteers Katie Switek, Lily Loa, and Fumi Arao. Thanks also to school hosts Ryan Knight (Bowman International) and Rebecca Scholl (Tasting Week / Barron Park Elementary). More info can be found at www.chefsmovetoschools.org/ and www.tastingweek.com/
Let’s change the world with great tasting food!