Thursday, February 17, 2011

Me and My Tips: Jean Marie Gunner

Me and My Tips: Jean Marie Gunner

As a recently named Mom Panelist for Hidden Valley Great Veggie Adventure for 2011, please follow link above for more information on my and Seeds of Living Education's mission to encourage a lifelong appreciation of healthy eating in our children. This is cultivated through getting children growing veggies in a garden, harvesting the food, and tasting the fresh bounty they have helped grow. Helping children to grow up healthy through hands on experiences in the outdoor living classroom is the most gratifying work a mom can do. Getting them to taste the sweet freshness is then so much easier. The tasting part is the FUN!! Thank you to Hidden Valley for their ongoing support and commitment to healthier children.

Me and My Tips: Jean Marie Gunner

Me and My Tips: Jean Marie Gunner

Saturday, February 12, 2011

4th Graders Devour Chinese Lettuce Wraps

When we arrived in my son's 4th grade class, the first question a student enthusiastically asked was, "Is it Veggie Time?!"  What? -- Anticipation and excitement for veggie eating!  We have become the "Veggie Ladies" bearing a rainbow of gifts both nutritious and fresh.  We used the weekly chart from Wegmans, "Eat a Rainbow Every Day" to identify and name vegetables and fruits in all the color groups.  We chatted some about our healthy tasting, and since it is February, we shared a bit about China and the Chinese or Lunar New Year.  The students enjoyed the Chinese Lettuce wraps and took home a recipe to share with their families.  The Boston Bibb Salad wraps were filled with red, orange and yellow bell peppers, red cabbage, shredded carrots and organic chicken tenders that had been marinated in Organic Hidden Valley Ranch and cooked.  Yum! Just ask the 4th graders!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Building a Garden Cup with Veggies Is Fun and Tasty

Today 30 kindergartners had some tasty fun constructing Garden Cups of Veggies and Organic Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing.  They used whole wheat Ritz crackers as the "soil" base and covered the base with a layer of "compost" or ranch dressing.  Then they stuck an array of cut up fresh veggies -- baby carrots, sweet red and orange and yellow peppers, pea pods, broccoli, and celery in their dirt and compost.  The children devoured this healthy snack of goodness and asked for seconds, thirds and fourths.  We ran out of veggies but the children were happy and grateful.  One of the teachers commented that children don't necessarily realize that food comes from the earth.  So many children see their food packaged up and not fresh from the soil or farm.  Classroom tastings of fresh vegetables is a great way to expose kids to fresh and wholesome food. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Divide Half the Plate for Veggies

Many of the ideas for healthy food tastings are inspired by real at-home ideas on more nutritious eating.  With children though it is important to bring some fun into the mix.  So my 10 year old and I decided to divide the dinner plate the other evening with balsamic vinegar and fill half the plate with a chopped salad we made and shook up together -- lots of chopped baby romaine, shredded carrots, walnuts and raisins topped with a favorite salad dressing.