Busy Butter Beans weekend plans

Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in cooking with kids, families, Food & Farm program, healthy food, news and happenings, raising children, summer camp | 0 comments

What a weekend we have planned!

This Sunday, April 1st we will be making appearances in Manhattan + Brooklyn, come join us at the following event:

Park Slope:

From 11am-1pm we will be hosting our open house for summer camp at Ger-Nis. We will be offering refreshments, camp snacks, and a cooking demo! Sign up at our open house to receive a 10% discount.


From 1:15pm-4pm we will be attending the International Association of Culinary Professional “Where food, fashion and media connect” event for their afternoon workshop + their chefs move mini expo.

Upper West Side:

From 12pm-3pm we will be setting up shop at the Rodeph Shalom camp fair.  You can’t miss us, we will be displaying lots of fresh veggies and are giving out homemade nut-free granola bars. Come by to learn more about camp and receive a 10% discount!

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Meet Elana, our new Director of Wellness + Food Education

Posted by on Mar 28, 2012 in after school, cooking classes, cooking with kids, healthy food, school food, seasonal celebrations, summer camp | 0 comments

We would like to introduce you to Elana Karp, our new Director of Wellness + Food Education!  Elana comes to us with an impressive background of teaching, entrepreneurship, and culinary expertise.  She is responsible for running our after-school cooking classes, directing our food + garden summer camp, and implementing countless  wellness and nutrition initiatives in our community through out the school year. We sat down with Elana to ask her a few questions about her journey as a teacher and cooking instructor, and what brought her to Butter Beans.

What drives you to teach children about healthy eating?
As a teacher, I saw first hand how food can effect childrens’ moods, focus, energy, academic performance, and of course physical health. It is vital for children to be exposed to information about nutrition and healthy eating at a young age, so they can learn how to make healthy choices. When they learn about healthy food and why it’s important to eat well and exercise, and learn how to cook, they become motivated and empowered to make better choices and lead healthier lives.
What was one of your favorite moments while teaching the 2nd grade?
My T.A. was Haitian, and after the earthquake in Haiti, my kids really wanted to figure out a way to help, especially because they felt a personal connection to the disaster. We talked about what had happened and why it’s important to help people when they’re in trouble. We organized our school’s first ever bake sale and raised over $400 to donate to the Red Cross. A representative from the Red Cross came to accept the money and my kids got to talk about the specific ways their hard work would help those in need. They were so proud of themselves and I was so proud of them! 
What is one of your cherished memories of cooking as a child?
My grandma spent a lot of time in the kitchen.  She was a very small lady so she stood on a stool at the counter to cook. Whenever I would stay at her house she would make whitefish salad from scratch for breakfast. I remember helping her mush the fish with a fork and cut the celery into tiny pieces. 
What is your favorite meal to make at home?
I love to cook a perfectly roasted chicken with either mashed or herb roasted potatoes and a mixed green salad. 
Describe a moment in cooking class that stood out for you.
I arrived at a cooking lesson that I was doing for a family of 4 (mother, father, and 2 girls). The younger daughter was waiting for me at the door with her apron and kids cook book. I didn’t even get to take my jacket off before she started showing me all the things she loves to cook. (She had made pancakes for breakfast that morning).  She spent the rest of the lesson teaching her family what to do around the kitchen and being my assistant. It was inspiring to see such enthusiasm! 
What attracted you to want to work for Butter Beans?
I love teaching and cooking, so I was looking for an opportunity that would combine my two passions. When I learned about Butter Beans it seemed like the perfect place forge ahead in my career, and become more involved in the healthy school lunch movement. I couldn’t be happier! 
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Ways to stay hydrated throughout the day

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in families, Food for thought, healthy food, raising children | 2 comments

3221986177_8e8f395a06Many of us are so busy that we often forget to drink water throughout the day. Water provides our bodies with countless health properties.

It helps rid our bodies of waste, cleans our blood, aids us in digestion, helps strengthen our immune system, regulates our internal temperature, and provides us with sustained energy. It is easy to forget that we lose water from our bodies through simple and frequent activities like breathing, sweating, digesting and sleeping.

In order for us to replenish the water that was lost in our daily activities, it’s vital to drink plenty of it. Another way for our bodies to absorb water is from eating refreshing fresh fruits, veggies, grains and legumes, so keep them on hand for alternative water intake opportunities.

Here are some tips to refresh and replenish our bodies with water:

  • fill a re-usable water bottle and bring it with you in your daily travels, whenever you have down time take a few sips
  • wake up to a fresh glass of water, it will help awaken your body and inspire your day
  • keep a glass next to you at your desk, and if your water source is far away, fill up a pitcher and place it next to you as a constant and friendly reminder
  • pack fresh fruit + veggies to snack on
  • remind your family, friends and coworkers to drink water, and in turn it will remind you to do the same
  • create a post-it-note that says “drink water” and place on your desk as a constant reminder

Happy hydration to all!

Photo courtesy of cipher

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Our quick + easy potato latke recipe

Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 in after school, cooking classes, cooking with kids, families, healthy food, raising children, Recipes | 0 comments

We welcome you to cook up these delicious potato latkes at home, they are fun and easy to make. Our cooking class students were big fans of this recipe, they couldn’t be happier to dig into a savory latke served with applesauce after an eventful day of growing and learning. What a satisfying way to end the school day!

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Brooklyn Food Coalition town hall – tonight

Posted by on Mar 21, 2012 in families, Food for thought, food politics, news and happenings, school food | 0 comments

Looking for an event to speak your mind about school food issues in the Brooklyn area?  Our friends at the Brooklyn Food Coalition are hosting a town hall and community forum event in East New York + Brownsville.  Meet parents and elected officials concerned about school food at Healthy School, Healthy Kids this evening, Wednesday March 21st from 6-8:30pm, at the United Community Centers, 631 New Lots Avenue, Brooklyn. Dinner + childcare will be provided!

Photo courtesy of brooklynmovementcenter.org

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