With the Small Bites program, Watkins receives a box of fresh ingredients, easy recipes and ideas for how to enjoy the results. Though her classroom only has a blender, a handheld food processor and plastic utensils, her students have concocted pesto, salsas, salad dressings – even butter.
“That one was actually easy and used just a container for shaking whole milk,” she said. “We’ve also made different kinds of smoothies and dips, like ranch and honey mustard.”
A key element of the Small Bites’ success, said Watkins, is that the students do the hands-on work.
“Being part of creating the snack or recipe really changes everything,” she said. “They all want to try it. Even when they say they don’t like or won’t try something, after they’ve been part of making it, they’re willing to try it.”
The simple, no-cook recipes highlight a Georgia grower or ingredient. After a trip to a local farm, Watkins’ students were thrilled to see the farmer they knew featured in one of the recipes.
“We always have material about the farmers, where they come from and their products,” said Winfrey. “And we stay seasonal: We’ll soon have recipes for a summer salsa, carrots with groovy green dressing and something that highlights strawberries and spinach.”
Since starting three years ago, Small Bites has served more than 20,000 students 100,000 tastes of fruits and veggies. The program sends food kits to more than 200 schools, clubs and early care programs around the Southeast. Teachers receive a food safety video and an all-exclusive kit to make an easy snack for 25 kids. And every so often, that kit holds a big surprise.
“The Super Power Kale Pesto kills it every time,” said Winfrey. “Young people go home and ask their parents to buy kale. It really wows everybody.”
Information about Small Bites Adventure Club is online at smallbites.club.
SEND US YOUR STORIES. Each week we look at programs, projects and successful endeavors at area schools, from pre-K to grad school. To suggest a story, contact H.M. Cauley at email@example.com or 770-744-3042.