2009-01-16 / School News

RWA After-School Program Participants Cook

Recently, students at Ocean Bay Community Center, who are enrolled in the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance "Environmentor" After-School Program, took part in a class on sustainable agriculture with Chef Jodi Korelitz. The group made their own flavored pumpkin seeds for the holidays and learned the many ways to prepare healthy and nutritious snacks.

The kids were broken into teams and each team was assigned a different kind of squash or pumpkin from which to harvest seeds.

They were then given a specific recipe with which to flavor the seeds - hot spicy, tangy lime, or sugar cinnamon.

The kids dove into the activity with a competitive edge and worked with. Korelitz to toast and season the seeds before sending them off for baking. At the end of the class the students were comparing different flavors and enjoying the seeds like any other snack.

"I was surprised what a great time the kids had cooking," said Jeanne DuPont, director of Rockaway Waterfront Alliance. "Many of the kids had never eaten squash or pumpkin seeds before, but all seemed to love them.

Watching the kids popping pumpkin seeds like candy gave me hope that if it is flavored well they would likely eat other healthy food. As a community we need to work to get healthy food into kids' diets and today's class was proof that if you put it in front of them and show them how to make it, they might bring healthy lifestyles back to their own families".

Surprisingly, many of the boys confessed that their favorite shows included those on the Food Network. There may just be a few future chefs in the bunch!

Participants get their hands covered in the seasonings used to flavor the pumpkin seeds. Participants get their hands covered in the seasonings used to flavor the pumpkin seeds. Students look on as Chef Korelitz toasts the seeds. Students look on as Chef Korelitz toasts the seeds.

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