Menu at Eat, Grow, Play

maple roasted pecans

Menu at Eat, Grow, Play

If you are looking for a program for your children that serves healthy, home cooked, delicious meals and snacks then look no further.  At Eat, Grow, Play all meals and snacks are made from scratch using premium whole foods ingredients.  As much as possible, food will come from the on sight vegetable garden so that children are also involved in the selection of their food.

Sample Menu

Monday: Chocolate chickpea spread sandwich faces – made with fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds

Tuesday: Pumpkin macaroni and cheese with fresh greens salad and house made vinaigrette

Wednesday: Lemon and oregano infused chicken kabobs, pasta salad and veggies with hummus

Thursday: Build your own wholegrain and veggie pizzas with greek salad

Friday: House made vegetable soup, roasted root vegetables, and rainbow salad

hand made wholesomeOne of the snacks I really enjoyed making with the campers was the day we made frozen yogurt topped with strawberries and house made granola.  We made the snack over a couple of days because we were making the yogurt from scratch.  Yes we fermented our own yogurt.  The next day we went strawberry picking and made the granola.  Then while the kids were playing water games out back we placed the yogurt into a ziploc inside another larger bag of ice and course salt.  After 15 minutes of periodic shaking we had our very own hand made vanilla frozen yogurt.  Topped with our hand picked strawberries fresh from the farm and fresh from the oven granola, this was the snack that all could agree was simply the best.

At Eat, Grow, Play, children will develop a love for fresh, wholesome foods because they are involved in the preparation of those foods.  When we talk about foods based on the colours, tastes and textures, children are much more likely to try new foods.  Also important is creating a positive environment for children to experiment with new tastes, without the pressure to eat the unfamiliar.

I recently had the opportunity to do a series of cooking classes with 20 children at Oxford on Rideau Public School.  I decided to make a kale salad with kids!  I will admit I was a bit nervous as I prepared to get 20 children to willingly accept trying such a thing.  Come on, I know many adults who turn their noses up to this super veggie.  But I reminded myself of the theory that I have come to know – that if I used the right approach and got all the children involved in making this dish that the chances of acceptance would improve.

Cooking with kidsAll my worries were for nothing.  The cooking class was a success.  So how did I do it?  How did I get 20 kids to form a line and happily load up their Ziploc bags with two giant heaping handfuls of kale without a single complaint?  I focused on the rainbow.  Instead of rhyming off what I know to be the awesome health promoting qualities of the ingredients, I focused on the colours, tastes and textures.  I got the students to list what each ingredient was as we went through the colours of the rainbow.  We talked about how they tasted and about how the sweetness of the mango would take away the bitterness of the kale.  I taught them that kale can be a tough veggie to chew so we were going to add an apple cider vinegar dressing and cut it up really thin so that it would soften and take on the sweet and tangy flavours of the dressing.

Most importantly each child got to pick up a peeler or a knife and lend a hand in creating what they would later try at home with their family.  When children are resistant to trying new foods, the more you can involve them in meal preparation the more willing they will be to try it.