My Dream Come TrueWed 23 Oct 2013
Story by Amy Wambold
When I was a little girl, I wished chocolate grew on trees.
As a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed entrepreneur, studying and researching chocolate before opening my own Belgian chocolate shop at the ripe young age of 26, I learned that my childhood wish had come true – the wish that I had hoped with all my heart as a little girl, while planting my chocolate sucker into the wet soil as I was losing the last of the day’s light. Chocolate really does grow on trees!
Our Connection With Nature
The bean grows in pods on the branches of the Theobroma Cacoa tree in the rain forests bordering the equator. I couldn’t wait to teach this in a food education and cooking demonstration class at Whole Foods because I believe that children need to learn and would want to be taught that the food they eat is directly related to the health of their bodies. I want kids to see the connection we have with nature.
For the demonstration class I asked my daughters to help me make dark chocolate pudding using five ingredients for 25 people. I explained to the children and their parents how we go from the cocoa bean to the factory.
I wanted to teach them that not all chocolate is created equal – ideally 72% dark chocolate or greater is good for your heart and brain. But some white chocolate is not even chocolate at all! It has no cocoa liquor and has lots of added sugar. I also thought they would find the images of the rainforest jungle interesting, and would love a free sample of the good stuff or as it’s better known as…“the food of the gods.”
Teachable moments like this have given kids the “power of knowledge” as a secret weapon when faced with “food pitfalls.”
Sharing Knowledge Through Food Education
Last Sunday in church, when they served four large platters of cheap doughnuts like they do EVERY week, both of my girls said, “Mom, you HAVE to do something about these doughnuts! Can’t you ask them to bring bagels and fruit?”
Interested in teaching a food education class for children? My advice is to choose a topic that would interest kids. Then ask yourself, what knowledge do you want them to come away with?
About the Author: Amy Wambold is a writer for her blog, Junk Food Journal, which focuses on ditching the junk when it comes to entertaining kids and incorporating real food instead. She also urges parents to monitor their children’s weekly sugar consumption. Amy is a Scottsdale Ambassador for the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Community to help raise awareness of food education within the community and to keep cooking skills alive.
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