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Kids cook up slice of California

Children learn to prepare healthful food at Food Service Agency kitchen

Posted: February 15, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 15, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Ernesto Pineda adds toppings to his pizza as he and his fourth-grade classmates prepare food.

With dollops, dashes and a bit of dicing, 26 fourth-grade chefs whipped up a meal to feed more than 100 people at the Santa Clarita Valley School Food Service Agency on Thursday.

Students from the class at Live Oak Elementary School in the Castaic Union School District donned aprons and hats and took over the kitchen to participate in the Food Service Agency’s 18th annual Kids Cooking Campaign.

The goal of the event is to teach kids the importance of eating healthfully while also giving them the basic culinary skills to make healthful snacks for themselves, said Jane Crawford, the agency’s director of food services.

“We wanted to emphasize the importance of sitting down at the table with family and friends,” Crawford said. “It’s been proven that students who sit down with family and friends at the table do better in school.”

As part of the event each class chooses a theme and, with the help of teachers and the Food Service Agency, tailors a menu and decorations to fit the theme.

Fourth-grade teacher Dulce Mogan said her class chose a familiar theme, “California,” since they are in the midst of learning the state’s history.

“California feeds the world, so what better theme for all this food?” Mogan asked.

To fit the theme, the class created customized, laminated placemats featuring pictures from around the state and decorated tables with California poppies.

As for the menu, students created fruit kabobs with melon, kiwi, strawberries and pineapple, made salsa and turned the agency into their own California pizza kitchen as they spread sauce, cheese and toppings to make the meal’s main course.

Crawford estimated more than 100 people would drop in and dine at Thursday’s event.

The class from Live Oak Elementary is the second to make a meal this year, following fourth-graders from Oak Hills Elementary School who made their meal on Wednesday.

Three more events are scheduled for next month, with fourth-grade classes from Pinetree Community School, Skyblue Mesa Elementary School and Highlands Elementary School next in line.


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