“Miss Katie,” said a little blonde girl, hand on hip, “you are [sassy snap] workin’ it today.”
“Miss Katie,” says another, “your hair is so silkyyy.”
I could get used to this working with kids thing…
For the last three months I’ve been working with a nurse at a local elementary school to facilitate their fourth grade Nutrition Club. The last Wednesday of every month is definitely my favorite Wednesday of the month.
I know a lot of people my age don’t, but I happen love kids and actually have quite a bit of experience working with them, but I still wasn’t quite sure what to think going into the experience so I Googled this:
I read up on learning theories and stages of development and all that textbook stuff that never really applies in real life and felt fully prepared to school the group on health and nutrition.
I came at them hard with some pretty dense material on carbohydrates and protein and fat and insulin and antioxidants and things that should have been way over their heads. But, surprise surprise, they shot back with questions about lycopene and diabetes and why, pray tell, cranberries can be classified as fruits if they don’t have seeds. (They do.)
I was so impressed by their interest in the topics and their (almost excessive) engagement in discussion about said topics. It was great.
So to celebrate out last meeting of the year, we had a little snack party with two dips–one sweet one savory–and a little trick up my sleeve.
You see, the students had already told me they hate hummus. We had a lengthy discussion about my love for chickpeas earlier in the fall and they were almost interested until I told them they’re used to make hummus. They weren’t buying it.
So for the snacks at the party, I knew exactly what to do. We had roasted red pepper hummus with carrots, celery and peppers and cookie dough dip with apples, pretzels and graham crackers. Both were made with chickpeas. Only one was consumed. But still, my point was made when I announced that the secret ingredient in the cookie dough dip was… dun dun DUUUUUN… the dreaded chickpea.
“See?” I said. “It’s ok that you guys don’t like hummus, but that doesn’t mean you don’t like chickpeas at all. Sometimes you just need to serve a food in a different way to get used to it. You never know what you’re missing.”
I can assure you they didn’t miss a single drop of that cookie dough dip. They were scraping the bowl clean. And one little girl, I kid you not, looked up at me and said with her cookie dough dip-covered face, “Miss Katie, my favorite thing about Nutrition Club this year was learning that chickpeas exist.”
My work here is done.
We also played beer pong.
We made our own “sodas” with sparkling water and 100% juice.
One boy said it tasted like toilet water. You win some, you lose some.
They made me a big ridiculous card with the following highlights:
“Dear Katie, you spent one hour to come and teach us health. Now I know how to make a smoothie! Thank you so much. I’ll stay healthy!”
“Thank you for helping us learn about health and nutrition. We should try to study to be a dietitian.”
“Dear Katie, thank you so much for helping us in health. Now candy is not my favorite food. You took your time just to help us and I thank you a lot for that. You are a very successful person and I will miss you a lot.”
Aw. I suppose if I can teach just one child that chickpeas exist, then I’ve done my job here on earth.
Speaking of chickpeas, I was eating a heaping bowl of them (with wild rice, kale and artichokes) when I decided I’m taking a break from social media for December.
I know. I know. What will I do with my time? Hopefully lots of things.
I will still be blogging (probably at an even higher frequency now), and both my Twitter and Facebook accounts will still exist, but I won’t be on them. I blocked my Facebook wall so no one can write on it, but I’m leaving Twitter up and running so it will continue to autopost blog updates.
It’ll be good. I really need some real in my life.
Plus, like I told the kids… You never know what you’re missing.
See ya when I see ya.