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As I walked through the front door at Henry W. Lawton School with five students in tow, all of us lugging pots and pans and bags of groceries, the school police officer stopped us cold.
With sugary, salty, addictive junk food everywhere, it's a challenge to persuade kids not to indulge. Of course, they've heard about eating fruits and vegetables. But in our healthy-cooking class at Lawton Elementary, I tried to appeal to their fifth-grade values: good looks, good grades, athletic prowess.
It's not enough to get kids to just fork down their vegetables. I want them to embrace carrots and onions and peas, to get excited about green beans and sweet potatoes and beets.
I should have known, when the sun was shining brightly on the first perfect spring afternoon after so many wicked winter days, that it would be tough for 10-year-olds to focus on cooking.
I knew I had a battle ahead of me for our next-to-last cooking class with fifth graders at Bayard Taylor Elementary School in North Philadelphia - and it wasn't with the kids.
We had a lot on our plates for our final cooking class at Bayard Taylor Elementary in North Philadelphia, especially for fifth-grade cooks: We were preparing dinner for their families, cooking the favorite recipes from the ones they had learned. Each of the five children had invited two guests. At least that was the plan.
My Daughter's Kitchen has taken on a life of its own! What started as a blog to help my daughter do more of her own cooking has turned into an after-school program with 20 volunteers in 10 schools teaching 50 children to cook this spring.