Kids enjoy cooking camp
Thinking outside the box is a challenge for some folks. Well, cooking ‘outside the box’ is a challenge for some kids and adults as well; whether it be from a lack of exposure to a variety of food or from a lack of interest in trying new things even when they are available. So, making food from ‘scratch’ and eating more fresh foods was one of the activities.
So, making food from ‘scratch’ and eating more fresh foods was one of the goals of the Mountain Plains Youth Cooking Camp held last week at The Main in Eagle Butte. This camp was directed by Mrs. Kathy Walters, EFNEP/FNP Nutritionist through SDSU Extension, and Dawn Little Thunder and intern with that program, and was the fifth of its kind held in the Mountain Plains Region this summer.
The program is in its second year and ran from 10 am – 2 pm daily for kids ages 8-14.During the camp the students did healthy activities, learned about ‘My Plate’ goals for amounts of fruits, veggies, proteins, and multi-grains, that should be on a healthy plate at each meal, and helped prepare the daily lunch for the group and made healthy snacks as well each afternoon. A few of the meals that the students were very involved in making were egg salad sandwiches, chicken and cheese quesadillas, and salads that had lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, walnuts, celery, etc. in them. Examples of healthy snacks that they made included homemade ice cream (using basic ingredients, Ziploc bags, and ice) and canned fruit frozen popsicles (fruit-sicles.) Activities included a four daylong science research type project where they learned about the importance of calcium for healthy bones by doing a ‘rubber egg’ experiment. Another thing they did was go on an educational tour, led by Theresa, of the CRST Food Distribution Center’s facility and garden and eating a healthy fruit snack there.
They also learned some new games and some new ways to enjoy old items. For example, they raced while jumping ropes and learned how to play the traditional Native American game of handball.
In addition, the students ‘created’ new types of cereal and designed the cereal boxes that would go with them and then presented their ideas to the group. Some of the interesting types included ‘Super Boy Cereal’ and ‘Malory O’s’ (cotton candy flavored marshmallows that had chocolate filling). The ‘prizes’ that came in the boxes were quite creative as well! A few of the other creative projects involved designing original ‘thank you’ cards for the Food Distribution Center, making posters for the end of the camp walk down Main Street, and writing poetry about healthy food and exercise. Building on the ‘my plate’ lessons and entering the technology side for this age group, they also learned more and played games online, at www.choosemyplate.com in the afternoon. Guest speakers that the came in throughout the week included the following people: Cody Hall, of Native Performance Elite; Yvette Inukihaangana , of the CEB School Cafeteria Staff; Wanda Jensen, Project Director for the Mountain Plains Youth Cooking Camps and Dietician at United Tribes Technical College; Kara Four Bear, Curriculum Developer for this project and a Kindergarten Teacher and Denise Casillas, Director of the Four Bands Healing Center. On the final day of the camp, the students and adults, and some parents joined as well, walked from the CEB Middle School to The Main and then listened to presentations and played games led by Casillas.
Lastly, they enjoyed a slide show of the camp’s activities, created by Patty Peacock, and a tasty lunch. Susan Eagle Staff led the group in prayer prior to the walk and before the lunch.
For more information about the program, please feel free to visit their website at: www.2012youthcookingcamps.yolasite.com.