Plaza de Niños Fun Friday Field Trip

On Friday, July 31st, Plaza de Niños took a field trip to Hen House Market in Fairway, Ks.  We would like to send a big Bistrokids thank you to Jennifer and Martha from Hen House for their generocity in welcoming the staff and students of PDÑ and making the day fun for everyone. 

The field trip consisted of two groups of 45 students from PDÑ that were scheduled to go to Hen House at 8:45a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

The kids were very excited to go on the Field Trip Factory tour and were all decked out in their PDÑ tshirts. Upon entering the bus I heard things such as “we are going to the chicken house today!”….I felt the association w/the Hen House was great to  hear from such a young age of children. On our drive to the grocery store we passed many fast food restaurants that the kids easily identified out loud, yelling “Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonalds, KFC, and Wendy’s in unison” as we passed these locations en route from the school to the Hen House location.  I found it comforting to hear a different message on the bus ride back home w/the second group of students. As we left the Hen House and Field Trip Factory tour, pulling out of the market the children waived goodbye and said “goodbye peach, so long apple, see you banana, bye bye milk” while making a game of it on the return to trip to the school, each child trying to identify all the healthy foods they had been exposed to on the tour.

Our first group was the larger of the two and the older students at the school; one teacher accompanied each class and a few parent volunteers were on hand to assist the children as well. Upon entering the store we were greeted by Lili from HeadStart, Octavio w/the Food Conservancy, and the Hen House Staff  of Jennifer and Martha, who guided the tour.

Each group was escorted by either Jennifer or Martha, their teacher, and one person from the Kellogg Grant committee or Bistro Kids to record and take pictures for documentation. The groups were split across the store and one started in the bottled water section, and the other in the produce section to make their way around the store. Then Martha used a pedometer and explained it’s purpose and how she would track how many steps it would take us; some students recognized the pedometer; Martha asked the children to guess at the end of the tour. One group walked 425 steps!

The tour leaders stopped at each section and spoke to the importance of each food group and its purpose for growing bodies to be healthy and provided nutritional education based on the each food group. Each had a brightly color coded food pyramid chart they used to help interact with the children and asked many questions throughout to determine their knowledge level and familiarity. One such example was in the meat section: they asked the kids if they knew what the biggest muscle in the body was and what you need to eat to keep it healthy- they explained this is why their parents feed them meat and chicken etc to help this muscle and make you grow big and strong. The kids were asked to “show their muscles” and were involved and enjoyed doing so.
We moved to the dairy section and the kids were asked where milk came from; upon their answer of “a cow,” they were encouraged to “moo” as we made our way throughout the store to view the milk and dairy section where we were told of different products and forms they may receive them. They were advised milk has calcium and vitamins and helps your teeth and bones. The children were given a sample of string cheese and found it yummy and delicious.  At the end of each section the tour leader would recap and pose the question to ensure each child understood and remembered why it was good to have milk and dairy, how many servings required, and were pleased to hear the children answer back correctly, as they had been paying attention and were in fact learning! 
This proceeded throughout the store as we visited the cereal aisle and the tour leaders spoke of whole grains and the importance of eating a good breakfast and asked the kids to identify items on the shelf they were accustomed to. Many picked out Lucky Charms and other high sugar cereals; the tour leaders then talked about why it is important for their parents to read the nutritional labels on the box to ensure the proper vitamins and essential nutrients are being taken advantage of vs high sugar content cereals.  Each child was given a granola bar and the staff talked about oatmeal and other healthy alternatives to have a well rounded breakfast; they discussed the purpose was to get our bodies going in the morning after a long night’s sleep and to have the energy needed throughout the day to learn and play and be able to focus in the classroom at school. Question and Answer sessions were conducted throughout each section. One child volunteered his mother to go and get him “fruit snacks at the bar” in his effort to associate.
At the bakery section a staff member, who was dressed in his authentic baker’s outfit, captivated the students by singing “Some Where Over the Rainbow” and a song in Italian to the other group of students. Here they learned more about whole grains and bread items. They were fascinated and intrigued! We tasted more yummy samples at the deli counter, ham on a pretzel, and were given samples of 100%  fruit juice in the produce section.  The children were asked to look at all the different colors of fruits and vegetables and were asked to identify those they recognized or knew.  Each time being told about the nutritional content and the importance of making healthy choices, which can also taste great!
At the end of the tour, each child went through the “check out” and were able to scan their own granola bar and water bottle and see it register on the computer. They got to put their snacks in their goody bag provided along w/literature, a Hen House water bottle, coupons, a pedometer, a copy of the food guide pyramid and a key chain, and two stickers to wear- “buy fresh, buy local” and “Andy’s candy corn”.

The kids were very happy and had a great time on the tour; they were excited to get back to school for their Bistro Kids Farm2School Friday fine dining lunch of whole wheat pasta, GNFF lean ground beef and local Cascone’s spaghetti sauce. They also had organic whole wheat/grain breadsticks provided by the local Bread of Life Bakery, and Andy’s Candy Corn and local Twin County Farm Honey Dew melon for lunch. I spoke to each class about their experience on the field trip and that they were eating some of the very products they saw and learned about on the tour, such as whole wheat and grains, and steroid/hormone free, grass fed beef. The children ate their entire lunch and almost licked the bowl clean! They discovered eating healthy can taste delicious and be a fun experience!

The end!

I want to personally thank Merrill Gobetz from our Bistrokids Staff for writing this entry for me and making me life a whole lot easier.  You and the students from PDÑ rock!!!! (and also made me very hungry)

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