One question we frequently hear at Kids’ Food Basket is how we choose what goes into Sack Suppers. Sack Suppers are a well-rounded meal containing fruit, vegetables, protein and a snack. Each item must be nutritious and pack well into single servings. It also needs to pass the most important test: it must be delicious.
Recently, over 150 students from Cardinal Elementary in Muskegon traveled to the Kids’ Food Basket Farm – Kent County to become expert food critics for next school year’s menus. The students put on their “try new things brain” with the KFB Learn and Nourish teams to put new potential Sack Supper items to the test.
Rating each item on appearance, smell, taste and texture, the students were encouraged to give their full opinion about the contents of their meal. The students were also given a variety of sauces, spices and sides to choose from, inspiring new ways to enjoy their Sack Supper.
“I like making my own combinations of things,” said a young student while happily layering cherry tomatoes and string cheese in his turkey wrap. His creativity inspired kids at his table to try pretzels, green peppers and more in their turkey wraps. Their delicious creations earned many approving “thumbs up.”
This energy of innovation was found across the barn patio, as students challenged each other to try tajin, a salty chili-lime seasoning, with green peppers, a vegetable that previously received mixed reviews.
“I will try it if you will” became a common sentiment, and students and KFB staff alike bit into tajin-covered peppers together, creating many new fans of the seasoning—and the vegetable it was on.
“It’s not too spicy, and it’s not too sour. It makes me like the pepper!” declared one student, while her classmate searched for extra peppers to try.
A great majority of the taste testers were not familiar with hummus, a versatile dip with great Sack Supper potential. Hummus also received many new fans during the experience, with one student declaring that, “I will eat this with everything!”
The feedback and worksheets that the students created have been collected and are currently being analyzed. This insight will make exciting new Sack Supper experiences in the fall, creating meals that are both nutritious and kid tested.
Thank you, Cardinal Elementary students, for being invaluable partners in making the best Sack Suppers possible!