Just as exploring new foods is an important part of food and garden club, knife safety and health standards are held in the same regard. It's important that the "warriors" of the NLA after school program know how to utilize tools in the kitchen. We began this lesson by discussing knife safety; showing students plain blade and serrated knives, as well as reviewing how to handle knives when cooking independently and in a group. Most, if not all, students have used knives in the kitchen at home. In addition to discussing knife safety, we also talked about health standards. Ms. Alyce and I stressed the importance of wearing gloves when preparing food for a large group and washing our hands to avoid food contamination. Furthermore, we introduced the temperature "danger zone" (39- 140 degrees Fahrenheit) at which food should not remain for more than two hours. It's important to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!
Next, we introduced today's food lesson (fruit salad) . Open discussions about food are encouraged and add to the importance of this program. Students and teachers then had a discussion about fruits; what we've tried, what we'd like to try, dislikes, and favorites. This lesson consisted of pineapples, cantaloupe, and apples, but you may customize it with the fruit you have available at home! Check out our procedure below. This is helpful for those who have never cut these fruits and/or don't have the special tools at home.
The warriors were eager to learn how these fruits are prepared. Ms. Alyce and I were impressed by how well they prepared the fruit and their patience while doing so! A student helper then mixed all the fruits together to be served.
Then it was time to eat! The students liked the pineapple most. Did you know pineapples can regenerate if their leaves are planted after consumption?