UCCE EFNEP and REC Staff welcomed the energetic youth visiting from the Ocean View School District FLY Summer Program guiding them through a fun morning filled with activities linking to the program's theme for the week - ‘Bon Appetit'.
Upon arrival, the students checked on the pumpkins and sunflowers planted during their visit two weeks prior and were happy to see the seeds had sprouted and were several inches tall. Each of them will receive (1) free pumpkin during the REC's U-pick harvest event. Taking advantage of the cool morning and keeping with the weeks theme, they were encouraged to harvest tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, and green beans growing nearby to take home.
Next, it was off to the air-conditioned sanctuary of the conference room to kick off the first of several hands-on lessons planned for this outing starting with learning about hidden sugars in everyday foods and how to calculate the number of teaspoons in their favorite sugary drink while exploring alternative choices.
The group then conducted an experiment using yeast, sugar and water to visually connect how germs grow. Selected students were then chosen to wash their hands using water, soap, sanitizer, and wipes after Glo Germ lotion was applied to their hands demonstrating the residue left behind after washing and to investigate which products work best. Using a black light, youth and adults alike were grossed out at the amount under their nails and in the cracks and crevasses of their palms and amazed how some products spread the “germs”. Following the demonstrations, all participants were instructed on safe food handling with an interactive hand washing lesson.
Now with clean hands, everyone was eager to create their own smoothie drink recipe experimenting with different fruit (fresh, frozen, canned) and base (milk, yogurt, orange juice, crushed ice) options that are common in most households, to encourage incorporating fruit into the diet for a healthier snack. The youth enjoyed exploring the flavor variability and discussing the favorable to not so favorable outcomes. The basic consensus was that too much of any one thing was not necessarily better - especially orange juice.
Jeopardy, the game, made reviewing the information learned from both field trip visits to the South Coast REC a fun and friendly team competition.
All teams received an educational incentive from the game to take home in addition to the fruit and vegetables they picked upon arrival along with the fruit leather they made earlier in the month and were anxiously waiting to sample.
Many thanks to our special guests for visiting, and to our partners, the UCCE Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program for their collaboration.