Teens teach kindergartners healthy eating thru messy fun at Tech Center

Business News |May 5, 2017|3 min read

May 5, 2017

Elissa Penczar, MACTC Catering & Culinary Management Instructor at 231-767-3667 or 231-767-3668
Stephanie Hoekenga, MACTC Student Outreach/Resource Specialist at 231-767-3613

Teens teach kindergartners healthy eating thru messy fun at Tech Center

MUSKEGON: Kindergartners at Reeths-Puffer’s Pennsylvania Elementary are no strangers to hands-on learning. Every day they are immersed in math, science, English, reading, health and wellness, and more thorough meaningful work, intentional play, and experiential education trips–a bit like students at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center. That’s why when it was time for the kindergarteners to learn about healthy eating, it was only fitting they hear about it from their older peers in the Career Tech Center’s Catering & Culinary Management program.

On Friday, May 5, 2017, from 10:10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. forty kindergartners will visit the Career Tech Center to have fun while building their own healthy lunch. Each kindergartner will receive their own apron screen-printed by MACTC Graphic Production Technologies students. They will then work through eight stations led by high school culinary students.

Stations include decorating their own paper chef hat to hold back their hair; preparing and eating fruits and vegetables by using honey, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, raisins, and more to create a caricature out of carrot, celery and apple pieces; using squeeze bottles of various fruit purees to “paint” their own edible piece of art; arranging olives, grape tomatoes, carrots, beets, and cream cheese to decorate their own fish-shaped parmesan cracker; assisting culinary students by pumping a SodaStream to carbonate water, adding ice, fruit juice, and carbonated water into their own cup; building a loaded baked potato by selecting diced potatoes, corn, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cheese, chicken, and ham; practicing math skills of sorting and counting as they search for dried beans in a sandbox of cornmeal; cutting shapes in cheddar cheese slices; and trying their hand at making colorful fresh carrot and beet fu fu.

Prior to their lunch visit to the Career Tech Center, the students visited Kids Food Basket to assist in preparing the 1,000/weekday sack lunches the group distributes to children in Muskegon County. They also stopped by Root Down Yoga to learn new practices they can bring back to their physical education program at school. Teacher Karyn Edwards said, “At Pennsylvania Elementary, our motto is ‘A happy place to be, a healthy place to grow.’ This trip will help us focus on keeping the mind and body active while fueling it with nutritious food.”

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