The corn is mushy! The cucumbers are crunchy! The whole salad is awesome! These were some of the describing words used by 20 second graders as they tasted the colorful salads they made in Ross Elementary School’s cafeteria.
Yesterday the D.C. Farm to School Network and Sweetgreen teamed up to lead a salad-making workshop for students with Cafe Saint-Ex’s Pastry Chef Allison Reed, Ross Elementary’s Chefs Move to Schools adopted chef. The students were asked to be important “Taste Testers” of a new Rainbow Salad that sweetgreen chefs are working to perfect. Their challenge was to identify fruits and vegetables of each color of the rainbow, build a colorful salad, and use describing words to say what they thought of the salad. In the process, we learned that the same chemicals that give fruits and veggies their color have different health-promoting functions in our body. For example:
Red strawberries keep us healthy by staving off illness
Orange carrots help keep our eyesight sharp
Yellow corn helps with digestion because it has a lot of fiber
Green cucumbers and spinach, keeps our skin healthy
Blue blueberries help keep our memory sharp
Purple beets keep us awake and alert
Each student made a salad with all the different colors and choose a dressing - vinaigrette or cucumber and basil, yogurt-based dressing. Everyone tried the salads and then came up with a list of adjectives to describe the different ingredients. Soft, hard, mushy, tender, crunchy, awesome, sweet, sour... almost all the kids came up and asked for seconds!
A big thank you to Sweetgreen for providing all of the salad materials; to chef Allison Reed, to the Ross Elemetary School teachers, principal and cafeteria staff; and to the second graders for being well-behaved, adorable, and enthusiastic about trying new fruits and veggies! Ross Elementary School had the demo because they were the lucky winners of a drawing from schools that participated in the Strawberries & Salad Greens event (more about that event here).