Archive for SMDS
By: Chef Monica Watson BistroKids*
Every month at SMJCS , as part of Bistro Kids Farm to School Lunch program, we have a “featured food or food group” February is grain month. In addition to preparing lunches from scratch here on site, I teach the culinary education classes and work with the kids in our school garden. (We’ve just finished planting our seeds for the upcoming growing season). the importance of eating whole, organic and healthy food!
During grain month we made this Chocolate Quinoa Cake. One of the things I try to do is create healthier versions of the foods they already love (hence the chocolate cake!) as well as recipes that are kid favorites that parents can easily prepare for or with their kids at home. This was a special treat for the kids with the addition of the quinoa making it healthier and perfect for Passover!
The cake is not an original recipe of Bistro Kids…I did modify it somewhat from a version in “Quinoa 365”. Other months have featured broccoli, pumpkin and even honey. Our goal is to “feature” foods prepared in different ways in an effort to get the children to try them and explore new ways of eating something they may have thought they disliked. Believe it or not at SMJCS, broccoli is as popular as chocolate cake!
Bistro Kids makes healthy fun. We teach from seed to soil, pan to plate. It is a process but they learn what making healthy choices means. That knowledge hopefully takes root and grows!
Research shows that homegrown, whole foods positively impact performance in school, attendance, even behavior. That’s why Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School will have a farm-to-table lunch program, and serve only the healthiest locally sourced or organic foods. “Planting the veggies we eat for lunch is as locally grown as it gets,” says Tamar Lerner, a fifth grade student. Each class will be responsible for planting and then harvesting a different vegetable for the garden.
The school contracts with Bistro Kids for their lunch program. Chef Monica Watson prepares the school lunches from scratch using only locally sourced, organic, all natural foods — including carrots, beets, brussels sprouts, beans, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, kale and herbs that students have planted in the school garden. Only hormone free and antibiotic-free milk is served. Washable lunch trays are used, and students compost their waste for the garden. In addition to feeding students, the program provides an educational component: visits from farmers who teach students how produce transforms from seed to table; chefs who guide students and parents in hands-on cooking classes; and lessons in nutrition and healthy food choices.
“The program aligns perfectly with our values,” says Cheryl Maayan, head of school. “Our students will grow up with the knowledge that everyday decisions —choosing milk at the store, for example—are not just fiscal decisions. They are decisions that impact everything from their bodies to the economy to the earth’s atmosphere.”
To read more and get two new delicious Passover recipes, click the following link: http://www.jewishinstlouis.org/page.aspx?id=253109
Sweet As Honey: In celebration of a sweet HONEY MONTH Chef Monica has worked with each class this month on recipes that include the natural sweetener. The students learned about substituting sugar with honey as a healthy alternative. (Did you know that honey is 25% sweeter than table sugar?) Each class used the natural sweetener in culinary class. Some grades made granola energy balls. Some made apple snacksters. And while we were walking down the hallway yesterday, we caught fifth graders using honey in a dipping sauce for tempura veggies.
Try this delicious dipping Sauce at home. Here’s all you need:
1 cup Honey
1 cup chopped tomatillos
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro
4 juiced limes
salt and pepper
Put them all in the blender….blend and viola….Sauce for the Tempura!
About 10 years ago, our custodians threw away 4 or 5 large bags of trash each lunch period. Today, our students barely fill one! What has changed? For one thing, we traded in paper plates and plastic forks for washable trays and silverware. Where multiple trashcans used to stand is a center for recycling. Your children compost their scraps for the school garden.
And look how our garden has grown! The process of planting, tending and harvesting not only creates a culture of healthy eating, but helps children understand the value of choosing locally grown produce.
This week, Chef Monica sent second graders on a hunt for treasures in the garden. They found okra, banana peppers, green peppers, lemon cucumbers, tomatoes, gourds…and even sunflowers ready to shed their seeds for the salad bar.
RJA students are well-aware that the veggies grown at school are better for the environment.They learn early to be diligent in their stewardship of the earth, and they take that responsibility seriously. Our message to our students is always the same: you don’t have to be a grownup to participate in the repair of the earth.
Here at Bistro kids, not only do we fix and serve lunch to our customers in school, we feel that educating them about the beauty of food and positives of how food serves our bodies is very important. That’s why we have a program called Culinary Class instruction. It gives the students the opportunity to interact with our Chefs on a more personal basis, and learn about food and how it grows and feeds us.
Recently Chef Monica spent time with the 2nd graders from The Saul Mirowitz Day School, outside exploring all the cool stuff happening in the garden. The students smelled herbs, and even took some to their parents to try. Listened to the birds, cicaida’s and crickets singing their songs around the school yard. They learned about a new fruit….lemon cucumbers, which they discovered has a very prickly skin!
Then half of the students spent time drawing garden pictures, while the other half explored it. When that was done, the ol’ switcharoo was pulled and they changed places. Chef Monica told me that she got some beautiful drawings from the students. Then they all spent time exploring a sunflower and learning about every part of the flower. The kids loved it! But I think Chef Monica was the one that had all the fun! She really loves being around the kids!
They also played detective and found out there’s a culprit in the garden. Squirrels have been busy taking the sunflowers for the seeds. Apparently they forget to bring their wallets to pay for the seeds. Squirrels will be squirrels. All in all in was another fun day in the CCI world of Bistro kids, and that’s the way we like it. Because after all……fun is our main ingredient!
BY ELLEN FUTTERMAN, EDITOR © ST. LOUIS JEWISH LIGHT, 2011. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. St. Louis Jewish Light | 1 comment
Hoping to bolster Jewish day school education in St. Louis, Solomon Schechter Day School of St. Louis (SSDS) and the Saul Mirowitz Day School- Reform Jewish Academy (RJA) have tentatively agreed to merge in the 2012-2013 school year, the Jewish Light has learned.
The chairs of the two schools have signed a letter of intent authorizing their boards to “conduct due diligence” and develop a definitive merger agreement, hopefully in the next couple of months or so. For the integration to take effect, each school’s board will need to approve a formal agreement by a two-thirds majority.
Cheryl Maayan, head of school at RJA, would be the head of school at the new facility, which would be housed at the SSDS building at 324 South Mason Road in Creve Coeur. The merger would create a school with a projected student population of about 175 students in grades kindergarten through 8. Currently, RJA ends after fifth grade while SSDS goes through eighth grade.
Read more on this Article: http://www.stljewishlight.com/news/local/article_79bca7ca-d8f6-11e0-b224-001cc4c03286.html
What do you get when you criss cross a squirt of sour, a pinch of sweet, a stick of bitter and a bunch of tart.
RJA students learned all about mixing palettes of food this week in culinary class. Turns out that even kids who don’t enjoy sour lemons or bitter cinnamon or tart apples find that in combination, they are quite delish! The applesauce they made with Chef Monica was a treat.
Want to make it at home! Here’s the recipe.
6 apples of mixed variety
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 whole cinnamon sticks
Optional brown sugar to taste (depends on the sweetness of your apples)
Peel, core and chop the apples. Put in a sauce pan and add water just to cover the apples. Add cinnamon sticks and lemon juice and sugar if desired. Simmer until apples are soft and mushy.
Then put the mixture in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Refrigerate. Serve and enjoy!
Chef Monica brought some fun facts to the cafeteria at The Saul Mirowitz Day School during Bistro kids Fun Friday.
- Fun Food Facts
- Facts about the August Feature Food….Tomatoes (How many of you knew it is a fruit? Show of hands)
The kids love Chef Monica and vice versa. It’s a fun filled day, topped off by a delicious Farm Fresh Salad Bar.
Each day, children make choices that affect their health, their relationships, their self-confidence and ultimately their success in school. Spend your morning with us, and learn how you can help your children develop a perfect blend of healthy habits — ingredients that will help them reach their greatest potential.
The workshop will include:
• healthy cooking demonstrations: Chef Kiersten (Bistro Kids) and
Kathy Mora, PhD, RD
• secrets to a stress-free and happy childhood: Andy Pomerantz, PhD,
Andy Zuckerman, MD, and Cheryl Maayan, MAJE
• Sense Ability: How senses help kids succeed Jamie Levison, MAT, Risa Shyres, OT
• Locally Grown: From your garden to your table Chef Matt (Bistro Kids) and Aura Kavadlo
• Healthy Birthday ideas
• a taste-test of healthy snacks…and more!
Bring your friends with young children! This is a great way for prospective parents to learn that RJA is a school that REALLY cares about kids!
RSVP to Patty Bloom at firstname.lastname@example.org
I wanted to have a healthy birthday snack, and I was so excited the Chef Monica was able to help my mom make these frog cupcakes. They have sunbutter, bananas…and raisins for eyes. There’s a secret green ingredient in the icing, but I don’t think anyone will be able to figure out what it is!
Dara H. who
celebrated her 11th birthday today!
The secret ingredient was…(drumroll)…SPINACH!
Awesome Chef Monica! Healthy birthday snack, happy customer!!!!