On Saturday, I volunteered with the Junior League of Boston as part of my placement, Kids In The Kitchen. I’ve mentioned my placement before but for a quick recap, KITK aims to educate young girls on nutrition and physical activity. Typically, we work with groups of girls ages 9-13 in Boston communities. Typically when we arrive, we give the girls oatmeal with fruit for breakfast. However when we arrived, there was a table full of high sugar cereals…
This was not exactly what is supposed to happen. We were kinda bummed out. After going over what a healthy breakfast looks like, a few non-KITK volunteers provided the girls who refused to eat the oatmeal with some generic Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Sweet. Other Junior League volunteers work with the same group of girls every other Saturday. We travel around to different groups in the city. This was the first time, this has happened. After we showed them the importance of eating a good breakfast, the girls drew on paper plates what they ate for dinner.
Afterwards, it was time for Zumba! I am not blessed in remembering choreography so I am not the biggest fan of Zumba or other dance based classes. I did enjoy participating. Young girls LOVE Zumba. We have a phenomenal instructor who the girls just adore.
After Zumba, we went into the Kitchen to cook up some healthy meals. My station was making English Muffin Pizzas. One of these days I’m going to have a heart attack watching the girls cut up veggies small enough to fit on them. This recipe is also on my College Diet Plan so I’m always excited to show young girls how to make it at this age! Usually there is at least one girl who wants to just make a cheese pizza but the purpose of the recipe is to show how you can get in some veggies.
The other volunteers help the girls make an apple chicken dish, as well as a spinach salad with cranberries, feta and apple. We finish the day with a make your own trail mix bar. The girls usually skip out on the yummy fruit like dried mango but the volunteers are always they do.
The day was success despite the rocky start to the morning. It’s frustrating to enter a room to talk about healthy breakfasts when pure sugar is staring at you in your face. The other volunteers argued that they girls would not eat the oatmeal and consequently would be hungry and complain. I’m sorry, but this was disrespectful for the KITK volunteers. We chose our placement because we care about nutrition education. “Oatmeal is a great way to start your day, but if you don’t like it, here are some high sugar cereals that at least taste good but have no redeeming qualities,” is the wrong message and not one we want the Junior League sending out.
Have you ever encountered a frustrating experience like we did on Saturday? How did you handle it?