a guest post by Mariah James, Campus Kitchens Project intern
Last week, the Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga College High School (CKGCHS) held a tasting event for their senior clients, where students were able to spend time with clients and determine what sorts of dishes they love to eat.
During the event, seniors tasted new recipes while learning about healthy habits. The seniors were served a variety of dishes that were whipped up by CKGCHS students: kale salad, pasta salad, chicken three different ways (honey Dijon, herb baked and Italian), peach cobbler and fruit. By far, the favorite of the day was the kale salad, a dish packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber while still remaining low in fat and calories. Eating kale can help one maintain better health by lowering cholesterol, fighting against arthritis, and preventing bone loss.
While they ate, DC Central Kitchen nutritionist Lindsey Palmer spoke to the clients about the nutritious aspects of the meal being served, as well as basic guidelines for eating healthy. Lindsey pointed out that when cooking with fresh food, less salt and seasoning is needed because the food has more flavor on its own. If fresh produce is hard to come by, Lindsey noted great alternatives, like rinsing off canned produce to reduce the sodium or sugar content or buying frozen fruits and vegetables, as they better retain flavor and freshness than canned goods.
The event culminated with a screening of Super Size Me. Though none of the seniors had seen the film before, all of them could guess what eating McDonald’s for every meal would to do a person’s body. Many admitted to eating fast food such as McDonald’s (but in moderation!).
Through this tasting event, seniors learned more about nutrition and healthy eating to help inform their food choices outside of meals they receive from CKGCHS, while the students gained a better idea of what nutritional dishes the seniors will enjoy.