Tag Archives: balanced plate

Summer camp fun!

15 Jul

IMG_2221As some of you may know, summer for Butter Beans is all about our farm to table camp for children ages 6-12!

Our wonderful Camp Director, Sarah Kagan will be our guest blogger through out our camp sessions, updating us on how each week of camp went, so that we can all vicariously share in the fun that is our summer camp! You can also find some of our camp recipes on Sarah’s blog: Beyond the Batter.

After months of planning and anticipation, this week kicked off our third summer of Butter Beans Food + Garden Summer Camp! And what a first week it was. Field trips, farmers market shopping, delicious meals, and special guests helped start camp off with a bang.

On Monday, sixteen budding young chefs arrived bright and early for their first week of camp fun. After some name games and decorating leaves for their job tree, the campers put on their yellow Butter Beans t-shirt and set out on their first adventure to Eagle Street Farms. At the farm, our campers saw bunnies, chickens, and bees, planted some peppers and radishes [‘as deep as our belly buttons!’] and learned about composting.

While Monday was a day for farming, Tuesday was a day for cooking! The theme of the day was Mexico, and our campers whipped up a delicious Mexican feast, including Black Bean tostados and guacamole with blueberries for an extra special treat. They enjoyed making watermelon and feta salad for a morning snack, and planting their own lettuce and spinach seeds.

IMG_2222Wednesday morning, our campers spent the morning in the park playing games and enjoying the beautiful summer weather. They were very excited to come back to camp and try their watermelon + basil popsicles made using the extra watermelon from Tuesday, and needless to say they were a big hit! Things only got better from there as the campers went with Lauryn from Mother in Law Kimchi to the farmers market to buy the cucumbers for their kimchi, and returned to camp to make their own jar to take home. Although a little nervous at first, they loved the taste of the kimchi and even went so far as to drink the juice!

Thursday the campers were back in the kitchen, whipping up a delicious and colorful Japanese themed lunch. Everyone was impressed with the vegetable sushi and soba noodle salad that our campers made; I think Morimoto better watch out! Laura led the campers in a great balanced plate lesson, and everyone had the chance to test their knowledge and create their own balanced meal poster. After some arts and crafts in the afternoon, we wound down with some popcorn and a movie.

IMG_2240After a special herb lesson from Julia on Friday, our campers set out for the farmers market. They competed in their first Top Chef Challenge – Pasta! Each group bought two different color vegetables, two different herbs, and a cheese from the Union Square Farmers Market before returning to camp to come up with their own recipes for a Pasta party lunch. We then rounded out the afternoon with a relaxing yoga lesson from the wonderful ladies at Brooklyn Strength, and some special snacks for our birthday boy, Audie!

I have been overwhelmed by our campers willingness to try new foods, and am impressed with all the things they have learned and created! It’s wonderful to see them making new friends and get excited about all the different activities we do. Our counselors Casey, Spencer, Laura, and Julia have been doing a great job and we have formed a little family here at camp headquarters. It’s certainly been an exciting first week at camp, and I can’t wait for everyone to come back on Monday!

what makes a balanced plate?

1 Aug

frame_sports1Summer holds countless possibilities.

This summer we have had the pleasure of teaching nutrition and wellness classes to the Park Slope Sports Academy, soccer camp. It has been a blast connecting with their soccers champs so far!

We taught a few lessons on why it’s important to feed ourselves with healthy snacks through out the day, ending the class with a tasting of a super healthy Butter Beans snack like strawberry, banana and kale smoothies, and our hemp and sunflower seed granola bars.

Yesterday, we gave a dynamic class on what constitutes a balanced plate, and why it’s important for us to eat a variety of foods, in moderation. Our class was filled with yoga poses, nutrition facts, a scavenger hunt, an interactive balanced plate activity, and a handout to bring home!

Our handout was comprised of a balanced plate with the 4 components (vegetables, grains, proteins, fruits) with the option of dairy + the 2 other components (water + exercise) left blank. We had our students write down their favorite meal, and dissect the ingredients in that meal. Then they plugged in their ingredients into the balanced plate. For those campers that used “mac n cheese” and “pizza” and “cheese burgers” as their favorite meals, we discussed ways they could make those foods more balanced, and came up with ingredients that would make for delicious additions.

It was inspiring to see the students think critically about their favorite foods, and organize their ingredients into the components of the balanced plate. Besides the obvious favorite meals, we did get some interesting ones like lamb curry, sushi and roasted chicken with potatoes!

A big thanks goes out to our friends at the Sports Academy for having us as your wellness + nutrition experts! Looking forward to continuing our collaboration, and spending the rest of summer with you.

Photo courtesy of Park Slope Day Camp