Last week marked Brainfood's first ever Community MVPs Open House and Food Fair, and boy was it a fun (and delicious) event! Though the group taught their first workshop at Walker Jones Elementary this fall, for many in attendance this was their first opportunity to see the peer nutrition educators hosting food demos and leading a special event.
As I and the Brainfood staff and volunteers stood by, beaming, students welcomed friends and family and interested community supporters, explaining their plans to make an impact on
the DC community: teaching people how to prepare healthy, tasty food. Following a narrated slide show, attendees roamed the meeting space on a kind of "gallery walk" of food. Small groups of students at a series of stations discussed healthy alternative ingredients in the (tofu) berry smoothies and (low-fat) creamy potato soup, then handed out samples for folks to try.
They demonstrated how to dredge chicken in cornflakes for "fake flake" baked chicken
strips and how to melt chocolate in a double boiler for
"trick-or-treat" brownies. They explained how the simple, from-scratch brownie batter had been blended with carrots and spinach to boost the nutrition content that even the pickiest eater would be hard pressed to identify. (So sneaky and chocolaty! Oooh, I can't wait to try out that recipe on a few of my own students who claim to not like vegetables....)
You can't tell from these pics, but in fact just off to the left of the camera there was quite a crowd. Still, there was plenty of food for us to nibble on at each station, and a cornucopia of goodies to eat on the buffet table -- pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, homemade poptarts, spinach artichoke dip, stuffed potato skins. Nobody went home hungry. Actually, I'm pretty sure most people went home well fed and looking forward to seeing the talented teens in Brainfood's second year program ramping up their
work with local schools, community groups, and farmers' markets this
spring and summer. I know I was.