On last week's Tasty Tuesday, Allison from Miss Allison's Class asked me about allergies, picky eaters and cleanliness in our cooking lessons. I thought I'd share my answers here in case others are wondering:
-Allergies: I don't have any students with food allergies, per se, though I do have one student who should not eat bananas or rice, for other health reasons, so we do not cook with those. I have a staff member who is allergic to nuts, so we don't cook with those (or we make two versions, one with nuts and one without, since she can handle them, just not consume). I have two students who are tube fed and do not eat by mouth, but they both can have small tastes ("pleasure feeding") on their lips/tongues, so they experience the food we prepare that way.
-Picky eaters: I do have picky eaters! Oh my goodness, do I! I tell my students I was also a very picky eater as a kid, and my mom always required I take a "no thank you" bite, so we have implemented this policy in my classroom. (Mom is so proud.) As long as they attempt a taste of something new, I'm happy. Another tactic is to pair the unknown or new food with something familiar and desirable. For example, last week with the salsa (I have many kids who hate anything veggie!) I also had tortilla chips. If the kids wanted chips, they had to try salsa with them. Imagine that - everyone tried the salsa, and some (though not all) even went back for seconds!
-Cleanliness: Definitely an issue. Kids put their hands everywhere and in everything (use your imagination). Basically, we wash hands before each cooking lesson, of course. Then, a bottle of hand sanitizer lives on the table with us, and each kid has to sanitize before each of their turns during the course of the activity. If there are any major issues that can't be controlled by staff intervention, hand sanitizing etc. (one of my students has a behavior of spitting, for example) that student is not allowed a turn until he can get the unsanitary behavior under control. I've had weekly cooking in my class for 9 years now and no one has gotten sick yet ;)
Today we made pancakes! All the kids loved these (no vegetables involved!) and there were quite a few jealous looks and comments when we brought our pancakes into the cafeteria at lunch time. (We cook right before lunch on Tuesdays, so we can supplement the school lunch instead of having a separate snack time.) Yum! Here's the visual recipe (the recipe courtesy of my coworker - we doubled it from what is written here) on Scribd if you'd like to grab it:
The adorable chevron frame is once again by Teaching in a Small Town.
**I would love to edit these recipes with a visual ingredient list. I spent a long time tonight searching for clip art of measurement stuffs such as measuring cups and spoons, etc. Exhausted (I think) all of my bookmarked resources...Does anyone have something I'm missing? Any of the wonderful clip artists out there willing to make something for kitchen measurements? I'd love just the most basic measurements, like 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 and 1 cup measures, as well as the same of teaspoons and tablespoons. I'm certainly willing to pay, as I'd use the heck out of these! Do let me know if you have or can come up with something for me!