NOTES FROM CHEF MANIJA'S KITCHEN
Reap what you sow - Chinese Proverb
Our kitchen is the heart of our school, where we gather to prepare lunch, make the weekly bread, touch, taste and smell- exploring our senses, ending in a nutritious and satiating communal lunch. Here we offer opportunities for the children to help prep on a weekly basis. We also offer open kitchen hours to parents who would like to come help with lunch preparations between 8:30 and 10:00AM, sharing menu ideas, passing a moment together to socialize and offering a platform above all for those who’d like to see the components of our nutrient dense dishes. We hold tasting events for our community, show casing our children's favorites and discussing nutrient content with our dietician, Tamara Duker Freuman. As a registered dietitian (RD) with a master's degree in Clinical Nutrition, Tamara is our go- to for expert advice on nutrient content and topics surrounding 'choosy eaters.' Our communal mealtime and food cycle experiences allows the children to appreciate where their food comes from and where their waste goes to.
Tending to our garden has become an essential daily and seasonal ritual from our smallest members to our parents. We observe the magic of the entire Food Cycle from seed transformation to planting, harvesting, preparation, eating and finally putting our food- waste through our worm composting bin, which in turn is worked into our soil, providing for a rich and happy home for our plants and an all encompassing experience for our children and community. In addition to our children and teachers’ daily TLC, we also have a committed parent force via our Eco-Committee who meet regularly throughout the year, providing maintenance and support. We host workshops on composting and gardening, inviting local experts and experience trials and errors on our small urban patch- strengthening our green thumb every year.
Going hand in hand with our mission and curriculum, we are continuing this school year with our goal of receiving certification for our efforts in keeping a low carbon footprint. Through our Eco-Sustainability Committee, we take recycling to another level, up-cycling materials and/or recyclables to supplement our art projects and explorations as individuals and as a group. We also maintain these materials in a systematic way in our Resource center which is a big part of our Reggio principle as well.
We aim to develop our water barrel, collecting rain water, reducing waste, composting, maintaining our edible garden, participating in our local parks in collecting trash and leaves, and campaigning against litter. Our community of parents and teachers include avid walkers and bikers, hybrid vehicle drivers, conscious of their footprint. Currently we are a Certified Eco School with a School Yard Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. Recently we partnered with the Dear Tomorrow Project, where our parents made a promise to their child, a friend or loved one to share their thoughts about Climate Change and their promise to take action to ensure a safe and healthy world. We also did Beach clean up at Asbury Park, Forrest walks, a MARCH(!) to save Liberty State Park and our very own pilot Forrest Program this year.
With the help of our community this year we hope to maintain these amazing feats and traditions, increasing our visibility by obtaining a Silver or Green status through Eco- Schools USA and through that apply for grants and ask for volunteer help from our local businesses and community to fund our Eco projects around the school. One day we envision to create a community Material Resource center similar to The Materials Center here, in our very own Jersey City. These dreams and goals are only made possible with your help. We invite all experts to join in with their helping hand or green thumb.
For more information on joining the Eco Committee, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
RESOURCES / BOOKS / ARTICLES / BLOGS:
A Fresh Perspective on Picky Eating - link
Rethinking the Kid- Veggie Relationship - link
Julie West’s Blog: www.simple-veganista.com
Our very own SSJC Parent Dan Haag: www.jerseycityvegetarian.com
Angela Liddon: www.ohsheglows.com
Amy Chaplin: - www.amychaplin.com
Photo Credits: @2016 Victoria Lara
The Scandi School Kitchen is always seeking a Culinary Intern or Landscaping/Agriculture/Botanist Intern interested in Sustainable Gardening and Food Prep. To schedule a visit or for more information on the internship and any other details about our food program, email us at email@example.com