Center For A Healthy Lifestyle Field Trips

The Center for a Healthy Lifestyle at the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito has started hosting students from Skyline Elementary to learn about healthy lifestyles through cooking classes.

“These field trips will provide youth the education needed to make healthier choices in their lives,” says Keith Padgett, president/CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito. “The classes will be fun while teaching kids about healthy alternatives, nutrition and organic foods.”

School field trips will run through February of 2012 and will be conducted at the center in the back of the Harper branch. The classes will feature healthy and fun cooking taught by Amanda Curry, director of the center and chef/host from kids cooking show The Good Food Factory.

The kids simply walk over to the center from Skyline with their teachers and take a hands-on healthy cooking class. A sample recipe includes baked whole grain quesadillas with cheddar cheese and spreadable pinto beans dipped in mango salsa. Each child chops, preps, grates, pours, stirs, and creates every part of the recipe. The recipe features every food group with over four vegetables and three fruits. In addition, etiquette, safety, and nutrition are taught in every class. Over 20 classes over a three-week period will be taught at the center through these field trips, made possible through a grant provided by the Sage Garden Project.

In addition to the Skyline field trips, members of the La Colonia Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Eden Gardens will start frequenting the center once a week for one hour of healthy cooking classes. These six-week sessions will start with elementary-age children and then move on to teens. The classes are made possible by a grant from the City of Solana Beach and funding from Santa Fe Christian Schools to ensure that our youth are educated on nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

To further the success of the center, ten children involved in local school gardens have been busy at the Center for a Healthy Lifestyle. They are part of the new afterschool Garden Ambassadors Program at the Center. After graduating from the six-week program, students will return to their school garden with a diverse array of plants grown from seed, and new knowledge about organic practices to help strengthen the programs at their local schools. Andi MacLeod, the garden education coordinator at the center, designed the program, drawing upon her teaching experience in biology and art, and a lifelong love of gardening. She is teaching the class as well, with a local botanist, Juda Sakrison.

A community gem – the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito’s Center for a Healthy Lifestyle is dedicated to inspiring children and adults to live healthier lives through cooking, gardening, and fitness. The sunny yellow cottage offers a professional kitchen, space for classes or entertaining, and is surrounded by an interactive organic garden with beautiful patios and places to ponder. Now in its third year, the center is laying the groundwork to be a leader in the healthy lifestyle movement in San Diego. positiveplacesd.org

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