Our healthy eating tip this week was “Eat superfoods!” We talked with the kindergarteners about how foods like kale, salmon, and blueberries are fairly low in calories but dense with nutrients. Many superfoods are also rainbow foods! Another good clue to help us determine if a food is a superfood is if people have been eating it for a long time.
We watched a video about the history of a familiar superfood, yogurt, and learned to look for the phrase “live active cultures” on yogurt packaging to get the full health benefits. We also read The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola, which talks about the history of popcorn. Then we headed to the kitchen to make two superfood snacks.
It’s strawberry season, so we made a simple strawberry compote with strawberries, mandarin zest and juice, and a little maple syrup. While that cooled, we got to work on making fresh butter and fresh popcorn. The butter we made by shaking a jar of heavy cream until it separated. We started the popcorn with avocado oil in a big pot and then listened intently as the kernels started to rapidly knock against the pot. It’s quite difficult to hear when popcorn is done popping in a noisy kitchen full of eager, high-volume young chefs, but we managed to cook it perfectly.
We spooned the compote over plain Straus whole milk yogurt and set up our popcorn toppings bar, which included salt, fresh melted butter, nutritional yeast, za’atar, umami salt, gomasio, paprika, and cumin. Our closing circle question invited the chefs to share their favorite topping. (Mine was all of them mixed together.) The goal of the class was to show the kindergarteners how easy and fun it is to make your own snacks. When we cook for ourselves, we tend to use healthy, whole ingredients and fewer ingredients than many store-bought foods contain. And, even better, homemade snacks like the ones we made are affordable, too!