Heritage Middle School science teacher Marty Wicks thought it might be fun to start a Good Eats Club after school for sixth grade students who were interested in learning about nutrition and healthy living. He did not anticipate the avalanche of response he received. Sixty pupils showed up for the first meeting, and they were directed to computer labs to study nutritional values of fruits and vegetables. They were asked to choose some and bring them in for the next meeting, two weeks later, based on how these ingredients could benefit their bodies.
On Tuesday, October 1, parent volunteers brought in juicers to help with the making of healthy beverages. Then, they used the pulp from the fruits and vegetables to bake muffins.
The word is out around the school and now other students are clamoring to join the club. “I’m really surprised the kids are into this as much as they are,” said Wicks, who also works as a personal trainer.
His plans for the rest of the school year include the study of nutrients in our soil and water; the advantages and disadvantages of traditional crop rotation versus chemically induced crop rotation; pest control issues; and how waterways tie into soil quality. He will also lead the pupils in a virtual kitchen pantry makeover, pointing out healthy changes that can be made at home and hopefully generating discussion among participating families. The group will make vegetarian omelets and talk about things they can eat to fight off illness. At the end of the year, Wicks and his club plan to produce a Good Eats Cookbook.
“The decisions these kids are making now and what they are learning here could really help them out many years down the road,” he said.