Grower, shipper and processor Gold Coast Packing recently joined forces with the Santa Maria Valley YMCA to promote the importance of children eating fresh produce by teaching them how to prepare and cook recipes where vegetables are at the center of the plate.
“Gold Coast values community involvement and ensuring children everywhere have access to fresh vegetables,” Gold Coast Marketing Coordinator Crystal Chavez said. “When the opportunity presented itself to sponsor the Health Cooking Camp at our local YMCA it made perfect sense. Working with these kids each day was a complete joy. We learned many had never eaten cauliflower or spinach before, but loved how we prepared it and quickly became new veggie lovers.”
During the week of June 24, camp attendees ages 9 to 11 learned a new recipe, vegetable trivia, food safety tips and table etiquette. Healthy Cooking Camp also featured recipes including cauliflower ceviche, broccoli and cauliflower stir-fry and spinach salad.
“Healthy living and youth development are two core areas of focus at the YMCA, and we put great importance on educating children early about healthy eating,” Santa Maria Valley YMCA Childcare Director Kelsey Ferguson said. “We are grateful to Gold Coast Packing for the generous supply and variety of new veggies to introduce to our campers and inspirational recipes to take home and share with their families. Some of their favorite items were the watermelon radish tacos with cilantro aioli and cauliflower rice ceviche. Our campers and staff are already looking forward to another partnership with Gold Coast Packing.”
Gold Coast provided all of the fresh produce used in each of the healthy meals during camp and gave campers an insight into its farming practices and innovation. The company also encouraged campers to draw on their own experiences and incorporate unique twists into each recipe.