Helping kids to eat healthy

June 1, 2010 2:39:55 PM PDT
It seems one way to encourage kids toward healthy eating is to teach them how to cook.

"This is spinach lasagna, so feel free to use your fingers," the chef at Gramercy Tavern explained to a group of young students recently.

In the kitchens of the Gramercy Tavern, first graders from P.S. 41 in Greenwich Village learned to make mushroom lasagna and, for dessert, apple crisp.

For four years, the popular restaurant has partnered with P.S. 41 in a healthy eating program.

It began with a field trip requested by a parent who likes Gramercy Tavern.

"One of the reasons why this relationship with this particular school, P.S. 41, has been an interesting one is that the teachers have picked up on these themes and they've used them throughout their curriculum," Michael Anthony, executive chef, said.

The program includes regular trips to the union square greenmarket, where they learn about farm-fresh foods.

Some P.S. 41 parents have adopted healthy eating habits in their children.

"Not too much processed food. Not too much sugar. None really. He drinks, usually, just milk and water and a treat here and there, with lemonade," Michelle Wong explained about her son.

The kids did a great job with the lasagna. So, good fun, good food, and, at the heart of this outreach by the Gramercy Tavern, efforts to teach kids that good food can also be good health.

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