Chef Julie Frans, from the Palms Hotel & Spa, is committed to spreading the message of the importance of eating healthy and putting the rainbow on children’s plates.
By Brenda Benoit
We all know how crucial it is to cultivate healthy eating habits in kids so that they become second nature once they are adults. That is easier said than done as children are surrounded by fast food outlets and school lunches are often tasteless and carbohydrate-oriented.
The Palms Hotel & Spa invited a kid’s yoga camp and scheduled a visit for a garden tour/tasting with Chef Julie Frans. She taught them about eating fresh produce in order to improve brain capacity and overall health… i.e. eating with the rainbow. Yoga students, aged 4-11, from the Express Yourself Kids Camp visited the Chef’s Organic Garden, located on the hotel premises.
Kicking off the experience, the group started with a mini-yoga stretching session in the sandy area in front of the Chef’s Organic Garden. Chef Julie then took the kids into the garden for a tour and educational discussion about eating with the rainbow. The children were able to pick, smell, eat and learn about organic produce and herbs growing in the garden and how they are brain boosters.
Chef Julie prepared a yummy tasting of the items picked on their journey of the garden and discussed how to build a rainbow salad, where these foods come from and why it is important to eat with the rainbow.
It was fascinating to see how the kids immersed themselves into the making of the salad and truly enjoyed the experience of mixing vegetables, fruits and herbs together in order to create a veritable feast for all the senses. They got to appreciate the beautiful colors of the produce, the different texture of each ingredient, the aromas of the herbs and finally bite into and taste a crunchy, fresh, wonderful salad that they helped build themselves.
It is such a battle for some of us to get our children to eat their veggies. It also requires patience and time to actually prepare a salad from scratch. Busy schedules, too many hours at work and in traffic are understandable excuses for not doing this and buying food or microwaving frozen dinners just to keep our family’s bellies full. In the long run though, if we do not teach children about the joy of making food at home and the adventure of putting it all together by themselves, they will be missing something very special.
To have food on the table is considered a blessing: good food, health, well-being and beauty are things that are attainable for everyone as long as some thought is put into it. To “eat with the rainbow” is to put as many colors of fresh ingredients on the plate and enjoy the vast array of goodness nature has to offer.
It is nice to see a local hotel partnering with a yoga institution. Yoga Sprouting offers classes and workshops for kids and adults and it is open year-round.
The idea of having an organic garden on the grounds of the Palms Hotel & Spa is very commendable, something that will encourage people to learn and appreciate the food wonderland that is a garden in your own backyard.
To learn more about the Express Yourself Kids Camp and Yoga Sprouting visit www.yogasprouting.com or call BB Jimenez at 786.346.7507.
The Palms Hotel & Spa
3025 Collins Ave Miami Beach, FL 33140
Brenda Benoit was born in the city of St. George’s in Grenada and grew up in Caracas, Venezuela. She has been living in Miami for over 20 years, loves to cook, eat and to try new restaurants & cuisines - always with her camera as a companion. She's a dedicated cookbook collector and is in the process of writing one of her own.