Friday, March 12, 2010

You Are What You Eat

This week's guest blog comes from Krysta Peterson, our house walking human dictionary who has a tendency to make up words and mash-up sentences. More importantly, she is our nutrition enthusiast who has been working with a local school, Aliñambi, since August, on starting up a nutrition education program. After months of hard work, she now helps run an inclusive nutrition program. This program focuses on educating students through hands-on learning with an overall goal to raise students' self-efficacy in food consumption and decision making. Here's a glimpse into working with these enthusiastic sixth graders twice a week!

Charlas! Portfolios! Cooking Classes! School Garden! Oh my! If you think those sound fun, just imagine the excitement and enthusiasm coming from our 6th graders each week as we walk in the gates at Aliñambi to do just that. After 7 months working with Aliñambi and nutrition with little physical evidence, I am thoroughly ecstatic, to say the least, about starting this nutrition program with the kids there. I believe through these kids is where we will be able to really initiate a change towards healthy lifestyles for these communities.

Along with Profes Haley and Jackie we will be teaching nutrition through charlas (lectures), thought provoking portfolio work, and hands-on cooking classes and a class garden. Every Tuesday I will be leading the class through charlas and portfolio work based on topics from the food pyramid to macro and micronutrients to hygiene. And every Friday Chef Haley and Sous Chef Krysta will be leading the culinary trainees with watchful eyes as they learn to wash and cut vegetables and make healthy meals using all local goods. Farmer Jackie and Farmhand Bibi will be leading the apprentices in designing and building their own garden to include radishes, lettuce, broccoli, cilantro, and basil…can anyone else see delicious salads in our future?! Yum!

Today we finished our second full week of class and despite a few punishments after a dirt-throwing jaunt everything has been going great. I truly believe in these kids’ ability to succeed in this program and their capacity to realize they have control over their nutritional lives and can promote permanent change at home.

Last week we didn’t realize we were not allowed to take photos at the school, so these are a few and probably the only pictures we will have for evidence that this program actually took place. Enjoy them while they’re hot!

Krysta, Erik, Chet, Mike and Sarah lending a helping hand in the huerto (which was all grass before we started)

Two hours later...

Krysta and some of our Aliñambi students

amor + nutrition,


1 comment:

Unknown said...

You all continue to amaze us readers with your energy, enthusiasm and creativity! This is a great project and I hope the Manna House cooks are keeping with the nutritious menus! Boy that dirt looked hard so kudos to the diggers! Will be anxious to see the new little seedlings sprout and what dishes come out of the new kitchen. Hugs from your California Mom!