'Chef in the Garden' teaches kids about healthy eating

BRONX, New York City (WABC) -- A free summertime series kicked off in the Bronx Thursday designed to teach kids and the community about healthy eating.

"Chef in the Garden" takes place monthly at noon in the Garden of Eden, a longtime urban garden in the South Bronx at 1664 Weeks Avenue.

For decades, the Garden of Eden has provided fresh, healthy food to a part of the Bronx often described as a "fresh food desert."

"We bring them in here to show them, 'Hey, I know McDonald's is down the block, but come in here and we'll give you a fresh piece of lettuce,'" said Arlington Malone, who hosts the event. "It's always important to teach kids about eating healthy and to teach them about healthier options, because coming from the South Bronx, we don't have a lot of those available. We can't find the fresh fruit. So we give that option to the community."

The hands-on cooking demonstration is sponsored by the BronxCare Health System, which provides health professionals onsite to offer the community free advice and tips.

"Once you familiarize kids with certain foods, then they become much more receptive to eating them, and then they start making their own healthy food choices," said Colombe Jacobson, a natural foods chef leading Thursday's demonstration. "You make it fun, you make it delicious, and then all of a sudden, it's not a struggle to get them to eat healthy."

On Thursday, Jacobson taught several dozen kids how to make a watermelon salad' with feta, onions, olives and fresh mint from the garden.

The kids were able to help cut and mix the salad and then try it.

They all said it tasted great.

Future opportunities to participate in the 'Chef in Garden' series include: July 25, August 22, and September 26, all at noon inside the Garden of Eden.

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