Lunchology program teaches kids and families creative, healthy snacks and meals

“I like carrots," Anthony, a nine year old, smiled.
“Bananas!" Brandon exclaimed.
“Watermelon," Jazayle, an eight year old, said.
"Apples” Jimena, a nine year old, added.

These little ones are big on eating healthy

“healthy food is a good thing for people because it helps” “not be ill”

Now they’re learning new ways to incorporate it into their meals and snacks

“You’re getting a lot of flavor without getting a lot of fat," Evette Rios said while demonstrating a dish.lunchologymenu600x800

“A menu of healthy lunch ideas called Lunchology," Evette Rios explained. "The idea is we want to be a resource for families that maybe are having a difficult time being creative about their kids lunches.”

Which doesn’t always come cheap.

“It’s very hard because it’s very expensive because we’re families that are low-income," Carolina Gonzalez said.

Carolina Gonzalez is a mother of three and part of Long Island’s Head Start program.

“We cover nutrition, health services, social/emotional, as well as education,” said. "It's about giving them the opportunity to be able to reach self sufficiency and success later on in life.”

They’ve teamed up with Fidelis Care and Gala Fresh Farms to help kids get excited about fruits, veggies, whole grains and more, all while showing parents how to get the most for their money.

“I love seeing that because I didn’t eat veggies until about five years ago," Jenny Jorge, Gala Fresh Farms store manager, laughed. "It’s great to start them really young, so they grow that consciousness of what they should and shouldn’t be eating.”

“I like to make a little tower, this is with apples,” Rios explained while making a dish.

Evette Rios, a TV food and lifestyle host, whipped up a few easy, healthy treats.

“I like to put a little cheddar cheese, and you guys this sandwich sounds crazy but it’s so delicious,” she described one sandwich.

"You can cut it into little slices to make it like a sushi roll," she said as she made her banana, nutella wrap.

“You use pretzels to make little skewers with the meat and cheese," she demonstrated.

The wife and mother is hoping to change how younger generations approach food.

“It’s becoming a real epidemic among young people, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure," Rios said. "So it’s really important as families that we try to have a healthier lifestyle.”

And the best way to do that?

“It’s really important to include kids as much as possible, in picking out food from the grocery store, and like having little adventures,” she explained. "They want to try new things sometimes they’re just a little afraid.”

And the hope is to inspire more than just healthy eating

“I’m hoping to learn today how to cook because if there’s like a holiday or something and you don’t want your parents doing anything you can make them a special dinner or breakfast, lunch," Jazayle said.

So now that we know this is all good for you, how good does it actually taste?

“It’s actually really delicious," Jazayle smiled.

 

Produced by:  Kim Pestalozzi