Spoons Summer Recipe Days is one of several exciting programs launching in the 2017-2018 school year – check back in with Spoons Across America to find out more about our new programs this coming school year!

School’s out for the summer and what is normally a quiet period around the Spoons Across America office is anything but this year. When people think about Spoons Across America programming, they most likely think of the five years of programming we provide in the classroom. Our program team is dedicated to incorporating STEM and Core Curriculum so that our food literacy and nutrition education programs complement the classroom setting and help children learn in a holistic manner. September through June are full of conversations about our favorite recipes and ingredients, anecdotes about what flavors and tastes get children excited, and ideas about what to teach next. This year, we’re also discussing exciting new programs and ways to bring Spoons Across America to more children.

As part of our continuing efforts to bring programming to children, teachers, and families, we are proud to announce Spoons Summer Recipe Days – an exciting summer program from Spoons Across America for children ages 6 to 13! By partnering with community centers and summer camps, Spoons Summer Recipe Days will give children the opportunity to explore, prepare, and taste healthy foods. Each session focuses on a selected theme and recipe that are centered on fresh ingredients and hands-on cooking experiences as children learn about nutrition, taste, and how food weaves its way through their daily lives, from the farm to the market to the table. Activities are presented in a fun, exciting manner with opportunities to learn culinary skills, kitchen science, food origins, and more.

Providing Spoons Summer Recipe Days in community centers and summer camps, outside the classroom helps to extend Spoons Across America’s reach to more and more children, which is an important priority for our team. Summer day camps in particular offer a great opportunity because the experience of a summer camp helps instill several habits in children who attend. Benefits of attending a summer camp include improved self-esteem, development of lifelong skills, and social connection other campers. These benefits directly relate to the goals and results of our programming. Children who participate in Spoons programs, and in Spoons Summer Recipe Days specifically, develop culinary and nutrition skills that they can draw on and use for the rest of their lives. They discuss what they prepared and what they like or what they would change when they make the recipe again. Connecting over their food gives children the time and space to reflect on what they’ve accomplished together – and what their favorite parts were. Through learning new skills and forming social connections, these children develop self-esteem and curiosity about new flavors and textures – they become food explorers!

Spoons Summer Recipe Days highlights key themes and topics to help children understand all the different ways food connects to their daily lives. Children explore taste vocabulary, knife skills and kitchen safety, agriculture and community, healthy snacks, nutrition guidelines and eating a balanced diet, eating the whole plant, and distinct recipes for each sessions. These themes emphasize the ways we interact with food every day and help children think more critically about the foods they choose and why. By experiencing seasonal, locally grown, or culturally significant foods, children learn one of Spoons Across America’s favorite lessons: not only that eating right is fun – but that when you eat healthy, you stay healthy.

So how do summer camps and local community centers partner with Spoons Across America to get Spoons Summer Recipe Days? Ali McDowell, our Director of Programs and Partnerships, is hard at work scheduling training sessions with camp and community center staff who will implement the programs at their locations, allowing Spoons Across America to launch Spoons Summer Recipe Days to as large a group of participating children as possible. In half-day training sessions, Ali walks you through everything you need to know about Spoons Across America, our methodology and philosophy, and Spoons Summer Recipe Days, all while leaving room to taste and cook through some of the program’s own recipes yourself. The training session provides you with all the tools, materials, and resources necessary to hold Spoons Summer Recipe Days while giving you a warm welcome into the Spoons Across America community of food explorers!

Contact us at (212) 245-1145 if you are interested in getting Spoons Summer Recipe Days!

 

In keeping with the arrival of summer – it’s time to move our seedling plants into larger plant beds and pots so they can grow all season-long! Check out a transplant checklist here to see how to help your seedlings move and thrive!