Over 50 Houston-area schools are getting into the groove of VegOut! 2015. This week we want to share two stand-outs: VegOut-inspired meals for teachers were held at Lyons Elementary (Houston ISD) and Pine Shadows Elementary (Spring Branch ISD), which has also conducted VegOut!-themed classes for students. Our Recipe for Success Foundation Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ instructor Emilie Bell gave us the scoop on some of her VegOut! programming at these two schools so far this month.
Bell and co-teacher David Kirshbaum hosted a VegOut! Teachers’ Breakfast at Lyons Elementary on March 3, with a little boost from school nurse and RFS coordinator LaShawnda Harris, who helped get the word out to teachers via email. Bell baked up plenty of carrot zucchini muffins for the Lyons staff and set out the spread in the school’s office. “The turnout was fantastic and there was a steady flow of teachers the entire time we were there,” said Bell. “They all seemed to have a general enthusiasm about VegOut!, and could see they were getting very competitive with one another. Many of them mentioned that they had already signed up or that they were tracking their veggies. Bell and Kirshbaum gave the recipe for the muffins and suggested the teachers add it to the recipe packet that had been placed in their mailbox. The school also gave an excellent mention about VegOut! and the teachers breakfast during their announcements that morning.
Over at Pine Shadows Elementary, Bell hosted a VegOut! Teachers’ Lunch on March 9. She and her students prepared the 1-2-3 Salad (using kale, Swiss chard, nasturtium leaves, sugar snap peas, carrots, and green onions from our garden) and set up fresh fare in the teacher’s lounge. “The teachers came through in groups during their different lunches and I had a few moments to mention the VegOut! Challenge and tell them that most of the ingredients were things that the kids were growing in the garden,” said Bell. The teachers received recipe along with information on how to VegOut! in their mailboxes. “The teacher’s that were able to make it during lunch were so incredibly appreciative, loved the salad, and several mentioned that they had already signed up to VegOut!”
The previous week at Pine Shadows, Bell’s Seed-to-Plate class, primarily made up of 5th graders, got an introduction to the VegOut! Challenge with the kids’ first VegOut! meal. “We made the Quinoa and Bean salad using 5 different veggies from our garden (tomato, carrot, kale, Swiss chard, and sugar snap peas),” said Bell. “It was funny how excited the kids were to have so many veggies in one dish, especially when they realized that they could check five off of their 30 in the first week! They’ve seemed much more adamant about keeping track since then!”