February family dinner! Welcome Jed!

February Family Dinner

Our February family dinner was wonderful! It was great to get our community together with so much to talk about and celebrate!
First of all, our wonderful program director Heather left BCS back in December to be home with her new baby girl and BCS alumni boy. They are all doing very well and have even been back to visit a few times. In January we welcomed Jed Norris as our new program director and couldn't be happier that he's part of our team. He has jumped into his new role with both feet bringing lots of new energy to BCS. But the best thing about Jed, at least from my kitchen-centered perspective, is his love of good food! He has spent time baking bread and making trips to our neighborhood bakery with the kids, which have resulted in "bakeries" popping up in classrooms all over the center, and lots of impromptu baking projects finding their way into the oven before and after lunch. He and I and Sarah have spent a fair amount of time discussing recipe books, chefs, and food blogs that we love, and he's always game to taste test the day's lunch, or have a go at the leftovers! So it was great to have lots of our families together to officially welcome Jed, and what better setting than a big dinner! Unfortunately he managed to avoid having his picture taken, but I plan to post one of him soon, hopefully with a loaf of his homemade bread.

We were also coming together to talk about Kindergarten registration in Burlington for all of our second year preschoolers. We had Victor Prussack - the coordinator of the Burlington magnet schools and all kindergarten registration - on hand to talk about the process and answer questions, as well as our Head Start Early Care Advocate and some other classroom support folks. My son Eli, who is now in first grade at the Integrated Arts Academy, was there as well, and was eager to tell everyone what a great time he's having there and how proud he is of his school!

The Menu

We had spinach lasagna, tossed salad with romaine lettuce, carrots and spinach, and bread that was made by us, and some donated by our great friends and amazing bakers down the street at Panadero.

It was great to see everyone enjoying a hot, comforting dish on a cold February night! The kids have really been embracing the green veggies lately as well.
Two of my favorite recent stories...
First, one preschooler who, in her first weeks at BCS, would pick green flecks of oregano or basil out of her food if she noticed it, was spotted at lunch happily munching on raw spinach from her salad with just a bit of dressing.
Second, a preschool boy returned from his dentist appointment and asked Sarah if she knew why his teeth were so shiny. Sarah agreed that his teeth looked wonderful, and guessed it was to match his earring, also impressively shiny. But the boy corrected her. "It's because I eat VEGETABLES!"

Jamie Oliver's wish: Teach every child about food!

A few months ago I was introduced to a series of lectures available online called TED talks.
From the website:

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.
The annual TED conferences, in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Oxford, bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

The organization gave a challenge to several speakers in 2010 - tell us about your wish for the world. Jamie Oliver does that in the video below. Please take a few minutes to be educated, inspired, and charmed by a guy who really cares about how all kids eat and interact with their food.