October 24th is national Food Day, which aims to inspire Americans to start making positive changes in their diets, and work towards better food system policies across the globe. The goal is to make healthy, affordable, and environmentally friendly solutions to all of the food access, nutrition, and food justice issues that go on today.
When I think of Food Day and its mission, I think of my experience of at The Bubble Foundation, which taught me not only how to appreciate food, where it comes from, and eating well, but also how to share this information with kids, so together we can all build a healthier tomorrow.
The Bubble Foundation is a non-profit organization based in New York City (with plans for expansion) that brings nutrition and fitness education into schools once a week. There are three divisions: Bubble EATS, Bubble MOVES, and Bubble GROWS. I volunteered with Bubble EATS.
As a volunteer, I received a thoughtful curriculum and instructions for a semester-long course in basic nutrition and cooking. The program came with everything I needed to teach basic nutrition education, dining etiquette to on-hands cooking demos. All I had to do is show up with the groceries and a smile, and all the cooking supplies and teaching materials were all ready for me at the school.
Not only did it get the kids to think and talk about what they ate, where it came from, and how to feed themselves, it also exposed the students to new foods by encouraging tasting of different fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, and legumes in creative and tasty ways. And they made some pretty impressive stuff – including vegetarian sushi, bean burritos, and apple crisp. The snacks and mini-meals we made were always delicious, wholesome, and full of color.
Most importantly, the kids loved it. Not only is cooking good practice for following directions, math and motor skills, it’s also a creative and fun activity. There’s something very satisfying about creating something delicious and calling it your own. The kids were always super proud of their dishes, and were happy to eat them.
The Bubble Foundation brings healthy food education to kids, so they can make positive choices in their own lives. It was also an awesome reminder that healthy cooking and food choices don’t have to be difficult; if kindergarteners could make healthy meals and snacks, then the rest of us have no excuses. Volunteering with Bubble was a great experience, and one I would recommend to anyone has as interest in food or fun. For more information on the Bubble Foundation, click here, and if Bubble isn’t in your area, you can check this website to see how to get involved with healthy eating in your area.
Check out these other awesome Food Day posts from around the web:
- Happy Food Day (Week) from the Land of Chocolate and Fries by Janina Grabs posted on Food (Policy) For Thought
- Why Organic Matters blog post by Andy Bellatti, MS RD posted on Eating Rules
- Arugula, Walnut, and Bleu Cheese Stuffed Portobellos and Food Day by Justin Fox Burks posted on The Chubby Vegetarian
- 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Food Company by Lisa Curtis posted on Barnraiser
- 5 Reasons to Savor Specialty Coffee This Food Day by Mark Inman posted on Barnraiser
- Food Day 2014: The Future of Food, collection edited by Barnraiser
- Waste Not, Want Not: How Ordinary Home Cooks Can Help Prevent World Hunger; Autumn’s Harvest and Food Day; Waste Not, Want Not Quick Health Saver Tip; Waste Not, Want Not: Quick Dessert Idea; Waste Not, Want Not: Reflections; Waste Not, Want Not Recipe: Ginger Cardamom Green Beans; Waste Not, Want Not: 5 Tricks for Cooking Not Tossing Bitter Foods by Mary Collette Rogers posted on Everyday Good Eating
- Scantily Clad Photos and Burgers by Denise the Dietitian posted on A Dietitian’s Diary: Finding a Healthy Balance