Lesson Four "The Power of Planning"

The following is a blog from NCSU student Kate Towery. It is the fourth (read Kate's recap from Week 3, Week 2, and Week 1) in a series of 5 blogs she will be writing chronicling her experience as a Nutrition Instructor for a OFL Class she is teaching. Kate is teaching OFL as part of a Service Learning Class that has teamed up North Carolina State Students with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s OFL/Nutrition Program. Through this partnership the IFFS and NCSU hope to engage students in service learning and community nutrition while expanding the reach of its OFL program. This week in our Operation Frontline class, “Side by Side,” we wrapped up the class series talking about:

  • menu planning and
  • breakfast trios

We made Orange Oatmeal Pancakes and fruit smoothies, which included plenty of steps for the kids, such as measuring and mixing. Watching the pancakes bubble was fun too. Will, our Chef, gave some tips on stocking our pantries and using recipe frameworks to incorporate one food item into multiple meals.

We had a lot of fun activities during class. For one we asked the parents and kids to plan a meal together keeping in mind the lessons we have learned the past weeks. The parents wrote down the foods and strategized when to make certain dishes and how the kids could help while the children colored these foods on a plate to demonstrate food group variety and colorful meals. They also colored food pyramids during our cooking lesson and we hung these up on the wall.

Another fun activity involved turning empty milk jugs into watering cans for the pea plants the kids planted last week. Participants decorated their jugs and the parents poked holes in the side so water can sprinkle out. Cadi, our gardener, also discussed in further detail seasonal produce and had some great information on local farmers markets! During the nutrition portion I asked the parents if they ever took their kids shopping with them. We discussed ways to utilize this time with the kids and reviewed using Nutrition Fact Labels to compare products. Nour gave me a great example of having her kids help keep track of ingredients by writing the shopping list for her and calling out items as they passed them on the isle. Eating a small, healthy snack before shopping and talking with your kids about colors, shapes, and sizes of produce are some other great tips for making shopping with kids easier. Letting kids pick out produce is also a great way to get them excited about what they will be eating that week and to educate them on how to tell if food is ripe or not. The children are very excited to graduate from class next week but we are going to miss working with this fun group!

One dad jokingly said he wanted to be a fifth year senior, alluding to the fact that he didn’t want the class to be over! Hope that everyone has enjoyed the blogs and I’ll see you back next time for the second class series!