If Glendaal students bring home any messages to their parents tonight, they will be these: the darker the vegetable is, the better and slice fruits and vegetables VERY thin.
Those are just two of the many messages conveyed by Chef/Dr. Robert Dell’Amore’s at the “Inspiring Healthy Kids through the POWER OF FOOD” assemblies at Glendaal today.
“Cooking is creative. It’s like painting with food,” Dr. Dell’Amore, who was also joined by culinary researcher Elaine Medin, told students during the hour-long program. "This is all about the power of food. It has the power to heal and make you healthy."
Dr. Dell’Amore covered many lessons and, along the way, encouraged students to participate by raising their hands and repeating after him: don’t use a stove or knife by yourself, drink a big glass of water every day, skip the salt when preparing food and be sure the oil is sizzling before you add the vegetables.
“100 percent of the chefs you see on TV or that work in restaurants will salt these onions,” Dr. Dell’Amore said while chopping up onions and placing them in a oiled simmering pan. “Not some of them. Not most of them. 100 percent of them. We don’t do that. No salt at all.”
“This is what healthy cooking smells like,” he said as the aroma of his creations filled the gymnasium and hallways and the rat-a-tat-tat sound of his rapid cutting held everybody's attention.
Dr. Dell’Amore introduced students to new foods that they may have never eaten, like sun-dried tomatoes, cabbage and kale. He told them the key to preparing even foods you don’t know is to slice them thin and fold them into the other parts of the dish.
“Mom, if you slice the vegetables thinly, I will eat them,” he asked students to repeat after him.
He discussed salad dressing with the students.
“How many of you like ranch dressing?” Dr. Dell’Amore asked to dozens of hands shooting into the air. He held up a tiny container. “This is three servings of ranch dressing. Do you know that his has as much saturated fat in it as a Big Mac? It (ranch dressing) tastes great but it’s super unhealthy.”
Again, he encouraged students to share that tidbit with their parents.
Instead, he quickly created a dressing out of apples, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, pepper, raw garlic and lemon.
There was no mad rush at the end to sample the healthy goodies he had created. Dr. Dell’Amore asked the boys to come forward and take extra samples to give to the girls.
The program at Glendaal was sponsored by the PTA.
The POWER of FOOD workshop helps teach students the essential life skills necessary to make healthy lifestyle and dietary choices. He discussed easy-to-replicate culinary techniques/recipes incorporating new fruit/vegetable combinations using salt-, butter- and sugar-free cooking techniques and safe food preparation.
Dr. Dell’Amore is a physician, researcher, professional culinary/nutrition/health educator and creator of the innovative “The POWER of FOOD: Life Skills for Nutrition, Children and Families” program.
Here are a few photos from today's assembly with students in kindergarten to grade 2. Click on the photo to enlarge and download it.