Chef Gives Hazel Students a Lesson in Food
Natural Gourmet Institute Encourages Hazel Avenue Students to make healthy food choices
Gastronomes take note, a culinary revolution is starting to take root. At least that is the case at Hazel Avenue Elementary School as students are not only learning what's good to eat but how to make smart food choices.
In a special assembly Wednesday, Chef Celine Beitchman from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts led the students through a presentation designed to help them make healthier food choices, understand the benefits of eating smarter and try new foods.
"Brain power and energy are pretty good reasons to eat healthy," Chef Celine told the students. She then led them through an interactive presentation asking them questions ranging from how different foods make them feel, why we eat healthy and to naming the different food groups.
"Fresher food tastes sweeter," Celine told the students. She then brought the idea of eating fresh food right back to the school which has its own garden where students grow fresh produce. Aptly called the Rainbow Garden she then challenged the students to eat a rainbow.
Dividing foods amongst color groups — red and purple, orange, yellow and white, green and blue —slides displayed a variety of foods representative of each color and appeared for the children offering familiar and interesting new choices.
"Have you ever eaten a blue pepper?" Celine asked the children while talking about the blue food group. "It's exactly like a red pepper. Peppers come in many different colors and it's important to taste all the different colors to get all the different nutrients," she went on discussing the benefits of variety.
"It's about making healthier choices," said Lisa Boymann a member of Hazel’s Parent-Teacher Association Executive Board as well as an employee of the gourmet institute who helped bring the program to the school. "We want them to look at foods foreign and to understand to try it at least once."
To that end Celine told the students that there are 10,000 taste buds in the mouth, "They are little receptors, magnets of flavor and you get new taste buds everyday. What you don’t like today you might like tomorrow so keep on trying new foods."
To help the children stay on target for eating healthy, at the conclusion of the assembly they were given a punch card to use at the school's salad bar — the goal being to eat as many colors of the rainbow as possible. Students who get all their colors punched will receive a certificate from the gourmet institute about healthy eating success.