My summer as a Schnuck’s Nutrition Intern
Never cease to dream BIG. It all started with one Dietitian named Kara who had a vision. She wanted 800 campers at her summer cooking camp for kids. The Schnuck’s “Big Heads” pretty much laughed at her. But through tons of planning, budgeting, marketing, recruiting, and persuading, she made it happen!
There is too much I have to say about my experience with Schnuck’s Kehrs Mill for their first Kid’s Cooking Camp this past summer. First, I was excited to get to work with a Dietitian in a grocery store setting and I was even more excited to get to work directly with kids. Hopefully this entry will not only give you an idea of what we did this summer, but the awesome opportunities that our field can offer.
It was me and three other interns taught 88 classes from May to August. There was a morning class from 9am-12noon and an afternoon class from 2-4pm. There was a new theme every single day! We would teach 5-8 year olds one week, and 9-12 year olds the next and this would alternate every week.
We taught the classes in the “Community Room.” When we first got there all they had in the room was a sink! Luckily the dietitian ordered an oven, microwave, refrigerator and all of the other cooking essentials!
Not only did we strive to expose kids to new foods, but we also wanted to teach them how healthy foods can benefit their growing bodies. We wanted to teach kids about cooking especially because when they participate in the cooking they are more likely to try the food!
Like I said above, each day was a different theme. I thought this was crazy at first because weekly themes seemed to make more sense but this was unique to Kids Camp. It worked out great because whatever the theme was for that day had 4-5 correlating recipes and a craft that also fit the theme. There are some pictures below of recipes that complimented our daily themes.
|Food Picasso Day: Potato Mice|
Mystery food of the Day
Everyday we would have a special “mystery food” which was a highly nutritious food that we’d be using in a recipe for that day. Some mystery foods were kale, chia seeds, and mango. The kids would receive hints and get to guess what it was. They would also get to use their senses to figure out what it was. The kids loved this and would really miss on days where we did not have a mystery food.
On our store tour, we familiarized the students with the different parts of the store while focusing on the ingredients that we would be using in class. During this time, we included shopping tips and nutrition education about the different foods. Often times the kids would come back to the store with their parents wanting to buy many of the ingredients we used in class to prepare the recipes at home. This was great marketing for Schnucks!
Getting other departments involved
We wanted to include other departments of Schnuck’s to come do demo’s or speak to our classes. One day we had Juan, the “sushi guy” come and make sushi in front of the kids. So cool! Another day we had a “Cheese Expert” come and sample sheep, goat, and cow’s cheeses for the kids. The kids also made mouse hats that day, too cute!
We did a whole ‘lot of cooking this summer. The level of cooking depended on the age groups we were cooking with for that week. Recipes ranged from vegetable stir fry to strawberry ricotta pancakes. The recipes were developed to be completely hands on. We wanted the kids to cut the veggies, mix the batter, and stir the pot so that they got that complete satisfaction of creating a recipe.
Banana ice cream (literally just frozen bananas) with chocolate sauce..YUM.
Cauliflower Dippers & Marinara Sauce
Games, Crafts, & Experiments
To give the kids a break from cooking activities, we played games and did crafts. On certain days, such as our “Magical Wizardry Day” we conducted experiments.
|MyPlate Relay Races|
After each class, the kids were given a survey where they would rate their favorite recipes. Surveys helped us to evaluate what went well and what we should change for future camps. The kids would also be quizzed on nutritional concepts that were taught during class. This part of the survey allowed us to see the effectiveness of our nutrition education. Below are some recipes that were rated out of 5.
Quinoa surprise= 4.94
Rhubarb bread pudding= 4.5
Spaghetti squash= 4.64
Below are some results from our nutrition quiz questions:
Which is the leanest type of ground beef?
15/15 said 93%, which was correct
26/27 said that beans are high in protein
17/17 said chives are good for your eyes
14/14 knew radishes are high in vitamin C
“What did you learn today?”
“Baked mozzarella sticks can help to keep your bones strong”
“Cowgirls and cowboys need plenty of fiber and protein”
“Vitamin c helps to heal your cuts”
“Whole wheat is healthier for you”
We received so much positive feedback from parents during Kid’s Camp. A mother told me that her son never liked bananas until he came to our camp. Some parents even requested that we come back to teach over holiday break!
The very first day of class only two kids showed up... and we weren’t sure how things were going to go. By the end of camp many of our classes were completely filled. We served over 900 kids this summer which was more than we initially hoped for!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to instill these nutritional concepts in kids early. Camps and classes such as these could potentially impact a child’s eating habits whether it is for only a short time or for a life time!
Thanks for reading!