"This is life living," one young man said as he took a sip of his mango smoothie, with a proud smoothie mustache.
Our Summer Nutrition Club team, Sarah and Lydia, have been hard at work this summer to share fun lessons and teach kiddos how to properly fuel their bodies (with things like mango smoothies). This year, Gleaners hosted Summer Nutrition Club at 4 different sites. The program was fully funded thanks to the generous support of our friends at Lilly Endowment, Inc. Those 4 site locations were: Day Star Childcare, Concord Neighborhood Center, Speedway Baptist Church, and the YMCA Summer Program at Laurelwood.
Lydia said, "My favorite parts of Summer Nutrition Club have been when the kids really like the snacks that we planned and Sarah prepared for them. A lot of them are hesitant to try the snacks, because maybe they don’t think they will like them or have tried the fruit/veggie on its own. Sometimes they love the snacks and ask for seconds!"
At Day Star Childcare, they made mango smoothies with the kids. One young man took a sip and, with a proud smoothie mustache said, "This…is LIFE LIVING.” During the same lesson at Speedway Baptist Church, another young man tried the mango smoothie. His eyes lit up as soon as he tasted it and he said, “My tongue is DANCING!”
There was a boy who was hesitant on the first day at Day Star, but as the weeks went on, he was increasingly more involved. He asked to take home two basil plants instead of one, and he asked lots of questions about the snacks that they were sampling.
The kids planted their own basil seeds to take home with instructions on how to care for their plants, at Concord Neighborhood Center too. Our next lesson at the site was two weeks later, so Sarah asked if anyone’s plants had started to grow. One girl excitedly shared that she had several small sprouts popping up out of the dirt and she couldn’t wait to taste them when they got bigger.
Lydia spoke with one little boy from Speedway Baptist. He asked her about the cucumber, cream cheese, and ham sandwiches as a pre-practice or pre-game snack. He wasn’t really that into the cucumber and asked if the pretzels, cheese, and ham would be good to eat before a workout, she told him yes, because it would give him some protein, fat, and carbohydrates to keep him satisfied and energized, but he would benefit from eating the cucumber because they contain quite a bit of water that would help to keep him hydrated while playing his sport. When he realized that the cucumber would help him in his game, he seemed much more excited and willing to eat cucumbers again! "It was so nice to see this connection be made to help the kids apply their new nutrition knowledge to their everyday lives," she said.