A little bit of perspective is what’s on the menu at Mon Bon Vivant Blog today. Not because I am in a position to “preach” about anything, but because my eyes were opened again to the need for those of us who have the privilege of enjoying and loving food to find a way to serve others through our passion. It is easy to forget while indulging in a ribeye that there are others who don’t have access to the types of food they need or enough food to be healthy, and many lack the information necessary to make healthy choices. So, on Friday I took a step away from creating culinary masterpieces and took a step back to the basics of introducing young children to healthy fruits and vegetables.
I have the most amazing privilege of joining efforts with talented and committed local chefs and culinary students to volunteer with the Chefs Move to Schools efforts in Charlotte, which are organized by the American Culinary Federation. The Chefs Move to Schools program is part of the Let’s Move! initiative spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama in an effort to eliminate child obesity. Click to read more about the ACF Chefs Move efforts and the Chefs Move to Schools initiative: http://www.chefsmovetoschools.org/. On Friday, six of us spent about an hour before lunch with two groups of third grade students at a local elementary school teaching them the importance of eating enough fruits and vegetables from the various color groups. Five a Day the Color Way! is the mantra and, by the time we were done, sixty 8-year olds were screaming it at the top of their lungs while competing with each other to correctly identify the fruits and veggies we brought to teach them about. Yes, there are 8-year olds who can recognize artichokes, avocados and golden beets, and eggplants and pomegranates. But, unfortunately, there are others who raise their hands and ask “what if you don’t have any vegetables at home to eat?”
I have a classmate who is more and more convinced every time she volunteers that she wants to dedicate herself to working to eliminate childhood obesity instead of being a restaurant chef. There is something truly magical that captures you when a child’s heart opens to you and when their eyes sparkle because you have invested a small amount of yourself and your time into their lives. It was a great way to start my day and my weekend!
I hope we all can find ways to continually serve through our passions.