During Healthy Baton Rouge Food Week, citizens are getting a taste of just how good healthy living can be. One of those initiatives included a chef outreach program where local chefs introduced students from Capital Middle School to a whole new world of tasty and healthy food.
"It's just a matter of making it accessible to kids and letting them try it and letting them see how easy it is when they get home, when they get home off of school, do they have a banana and some orange juice laying around maybe they can throw together a smoothie," said Lyndsi Lambert, coordinator for the city's Fresh Beginnings program, which promotes healthy living.
The program includes cooking demos which gave kids twists on old favorites, like apples, and introduced them to new foods, like colorful pomegranates and purple rice.
Everything is just a shock to them, they've never seen anything or they don't know where the food comes from. They've never grown anything," said teacher Mitchell Provensal. "We decided it was a great way to get them educated about it."
"Baton Rouge has an epidemic with obesity, if we can help change that choice at home and that bleeds over into the workplace and it bleeds over into long-term living," said Chef Eric Arceneaux.
The kids also learned where their food comes from, as they got a quick tour of the Red Stick Mobile Farmer's Market, which was started to fill a gap in food needs throughout Baton Rouge.
"At the end of the day, we want them to see they can make a better choice today, and implement it tomorrow when they go home."
Below are some of the recipes that were demonstrated:
Sunny Strawberry Orange Smoothie:
¾ cup frozen whole strawberries
¾ cup frozen pineapple chunks
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
- In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth
- Serve immediately
Roasted Beet and Mango Blender Burst Smoothie
1oz. red beets, roasted or canned
1 large mango, diced and chilled
½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
6 to 8 ice cubes
1 to 2 drops of vanilla extract, optional
Blend the roasted beet, orange juice, yogurt and banana until well mixed. Next, add the ice cubes and mango and continue blending until mango is mixed in. serve in a chilled glass.