A little while ago in my newsletter, I briefly told you about my experience at Woodfield Special Education School, Norfolk. What I didn’t realise is that four months later, I would still be so affected by these gorgeous innocent souls.
Working with special needs students wasn’t new to me, I used to volunteer at teaching them art and maths all through High School. But it wasn’t until I had the privilege of being invited to introduce raw food nutrition to a school education system, that I truly felt like I was contributing to something very important. I was touched to say the least.
Sceptical at first, both the students and teachers, were not at all keen to put spinach in their smoothies, make milk from nuts?? or even brownies that had no sugar or flour in them and weren’t going in an oven for baking. The challenge was on!
All it took really was telling the kids how much better healthy raw food can make them at maths and getting them to play with every single ingredient, from choosing their favourite fruits to peeling the skin of a soaked almond. The result was beyond belief! They all loooved the green smoothies and asked for more, were completely fascinated with squeezing milk out of nuts, got carried away moulding their own brownie shapes while licking their hands and best of all never lost a moment of concentration.
If you have children and are having trouble at getting them to eat healthily, I urge you- please please please let them make their own food, play with fresh fruit and vegetables and create something for their own meals or snacks. They will love what they themselves came up with and eat it all up too!
An adult can rarely ‘sell’ a healthy snack to a child, but a child can nearly always ‘sell’ a healthy snack to an adult. It is the little ones that are the best marketers of the world and they need your encouragement!
I thought I will share with you a testimonial from the Head Teacher:
“Being a complex needs school our initial concern when a new person comes in to work with our pupils is always about how they will be able to work with the hugely varied needs of our students. In this case we also didn’t quite know what to expect from a raw food technician – we’ve always done very ‘normal’ cooking lessons, making biscuits, cakes, pizza etc.
The work Tanya did with us was amazing. The pupils (and staff!) learnt loads of new things about how to use foods in different ways and some of our more fussy pupils were willing and keen to try foods they would normally refuse. Tanya’s manner with the pupils was superb and they really took to her. They loved every minute of her sessions and still talk about food week now.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Tanya’s sessions to any other school be it mainstream or special needs. I think she’d work really well with different age groups as well as she has a really relaxed and calm way of working which immediately won the interest and respect of the pupils. Thanks for a great couple of days Tanya!” –Bec Lang
Here’s a recipe just perfect for kids (‘kids at heart’ including!)…
½-1 Cup nut/seed milk
Optional: cacao nibs, goji berries, mulberries, raisins
-Peel bananas and mango
-Chop into pieces and freeze
-Transfer to a high powered blender, add milk and blend using a tamper
-Garnish with optional sprinkles and serve immediately