One of the core life skills we try to instill is healthy living
While there are many different ways throughout our regular class where we teach the girls about the importance of exercise, mindfulness, and the best fuel for the body, we thought there was no better way to teach them about healthy foods than gain hands on experience cooking! During the last two weeks, more than 30 loca, passionate, and inspiring chicas dinàmicas came to our house for this special paseo (field trip).
We cooked a healthy vegetable pizza and made a delicious fruit salad. In the week leading up to the field trip, all the girls named a topping they wanted to put on their pizza. A lot of answers included the normal toppings, but we also heard some funnier answers: peaches, pineapple (although this, to me, definitely belongs on a pizza), flour, and even ice cream! We compromised and decided to include the pineapple, but left the others out.
We challenged all of the chicas to try a new food while they were at our house
Many of them had never tried peppers, basil, or broccoli before. To their and our pleasant surprise, many of them realized they liked the new veggie and then preceded to dump it all over their pizza.
It was also great to see them work together and divide up the tasks to make the fruit salad. They put someone in charge of cutting bananas, peeling the oranges, or cutting the apples (at which they were much more talented than I am). The anesthetic of the salad was also extremely important. Our class from Santoni spent five minutes deciding what would make the prettiest looking fruit salad and they even had one chica responsible for topping every bowl with exactly five blueberries as the garnish.
We spent a lot of time cooking, peeling, and cutting, but we also spent time discussing what it means to eat healthy. We taught them about the MyPlate guidelines, and they were surprised to learn that fruits and veggies should consist of half of our food for the day. They then brainstormed different foods that belong in each category – grains, protein, fruits, vegetables, and dairy – and we discussed changes they could make in their daily diets to eat better.
Along with the cooking and learning, I loved interacting with the chicas in a different environment from our normal cancha (court)
It was a great bonding experience and we had a great time with every class. We even combined two of our schools and the girls were very excited to meet other chicas dinámicas. It was always a busy afternoon, but we made sure to save some time for some other fun activities as well. We had a dance party. They explored every nook and cranny of the house and discovered some things we didn’t even know were there. They face-painted, learned how to say cheese in English, and took a ton of selfies. And they all managed to leave with smiling faces, and some even left with some remaining pizza sauce around their mouths. While we did not top our pizzas with ice cream or peaches, all of the chicas including Kyla and myself, had an amazing time!
They discovered a selfie stick buried in our cabinets and we made sure to put it to good use.
Trying on some new hats
Ready for some pizza
Plaza San Blas (walking in the streets with a group of energetic chicas can be quite challenging)
Did we mention the most fun part? — cleaning up after!