The Green Team Program

Hi Everyone!

Over the last month and a half, I’ve had the opportunity to lead a nutrition and environmental sustainability class for kids in my community. Every Friday for 5 weeks, we met as a group to cook a healthy and fun recipe that complemented a specific lesson. Over the course of the program, the kids enjoyed making Apple Pie Smoothies, Pink Beet Hummus with Rainbow Veggies, Sandwich Sushi with Berry Kabobs, Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas, and Guacamole with Bell Pepper “chips!”

We focused on a variety of engaging topics that were relevant to the kids and encouraged them to make positive changes to their lifestyle. The lessons I developed included:

  1. Farm to Fork- where does our food come from?
  2. Eating a Rainbow- what types of foods fuel us the best?
  3. Thinking Outside the Lunchbox- how can packing lunches be more fun and why is it important to try new real foods?
  4. Sustainable Snacking- how can we reduce food and packaging waste?
  5. Globally Green- how can we do our part to care for the Earth we live in?

With the generous help of community volunteers, this program was a huge success and gave local elementary school students the opportunity to try a variety of new foods. Through fundraising and donations, I was able to offer this class at a low price to make it accessible to students of all income levels.

All of the kids also decorated and took home folders filled with all of the recipes so they can make them at home. Using pictures from the class and each of the recipes, I will be creating a cookbook to put into the school library so our community can enjoy it!

I’m so thankful that I had this opportunity to connect with kids in my community over a love for real food. As one kid said “I loved the Green Team. I tried lots of new foods and even made the apple pie smoothies for my family every day!”

The recipes we made:

Apple Pie Smoothies

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, sliced and cored
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 3 tbs whole grain oats
  • cinnamon, to taste
  • apple pie spice, to taste
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 tbs maple syrup

Steps:

First, wash your hands and collect all of your ingredients. Next, wash and safely slice the apple. Add it to the blender with the oats, spices, milk, yogurt, ice, and maple syrup. Blend 1 minute until smooth, and share with a friend.

Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 3 cans chickpeas
  • 2 tbs olive, avocado, or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
For honey cinnamon flavor:
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs sugar

Steps:

First, ask an adult to preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas, and then dry them in a towel. Spread in an even layer with salt, oil (and cinnamon/honey if you’d like), and bake for 45 minutes until crispy. Let them cool for a couple minutes and you have a tasty, protein-packed snack!

Sandwich Sushi and Berry Kabobs

Ingredients:

Sandwich Sushi:
  • 2 pieces whole grain bread
  • Filling (nut butter, jam, avocado, or hummus)

Berry Kabobs:

  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • blackberries
  • raspberries

Steps:

For the sandwich sushi, roll out the bread with a rolling pin. Add in your choice of filling and roll up. Slice into bite sized pieces and pack for a fun lunch!
For the berry kabobs, wash berries well and serve on a toothpick for eating.

Pink Hummus and Rainbow Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pre-roasted beet
  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 pinches salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • multi-colored carrots
  • sliced cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • sliced broccoli
  • sliced bell peppers

Steps:

In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, beet, lemon, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil. Blend until smooth and serve with veggies, pita bread, or whole grain crackers.

Guacamole and Bell Pepper “Chips”

Ingredients:

  • 3 bell peppers
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 3 tbs cilantro
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced

Steps:

To make the guacamole, use a fork to mash the avocados in a large bowl. Add in salt, lime juice, and garlic powder and mix. Then, fold in onion, cilantro, and tomatoes. Slice the bell pepper into long, 1/4-1/2 inch wide strips. Share the guacamole and pepper chips with a friend!

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