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What's in YOUR kitchen?

(First, get permission. Make this a family/group adventure. And you might need help with percentages.

  • NOTEBOOK: In your Cookhouse Hero notebook, first write down three main areas in your kitchen where food is stored:  1) PANTRY, and 2) FRIDGE, and 3) FREEZER. Each page has one category.

  • COUNTER-TOPS: If there are foods like bananas, acorn squash, or avocados sitting out on your kitchen counter, then... create a fourth category called 4) COUNTER-TOP (NOT in a pantry, freezer, or fridge and NOT junk food). 

  • JUNK: Then, write down a fifth category for 5) JUNK FOODS that live in ALL areas of your kitchen (pantry, fridge, freezer, and on the counter). You know, stuff like potato chips, ice cream, most frozen pizzas, chicken nuggets, donuts, tortilla chips, cheese dip, ranch dressing, microwave popcorn, sweetened yoghurt etc.

  • DRINKS: If you want to count a sixth category, 6) BEVERAGES can be added. Note: if you have four bottles of iced tea, count those four bottles as one, and just write iced tea once on your list.  

  • CATEGORIES: For ALL foods on ALL lists, write an A next to foods that are animals or come from animals and a P next to foods that are ONLY plants or come from plants. Example: pizza with mozzarella cheese and mushrooms would have an A. A plant-based pizza would have a P.

  • FRUITS + VEGGIES: For ALL lists, write an F next to a fruit and a V next to a vegetable (fresh, dried, frozen, or tinned/canned)

  • LABELS: You might need to read some labels as ingredients can be a bit tricky sometimes. Example: a spicy and delish Korean pickle called kimchee is made from cabbage - it usually has fish sauce or shrimp paste, too. 

  • WHEN: Do this activity one section or area at a time, and create what chefs call an "inventory sheet". It's best to do this just AFTER your family's market day when your kitchen is full.

  • WHAT: Don't worry if these lists are not "perfect" or 100% accurate - just do the best you can so that you get a general idea of what foods live in your kitchen.

  • SHARE... When the lists are completed, you can use this exercise as a way to have a conversation with your friends, family, teachers, coaches, and community leaders about food science, health, and whole plant foods. This activity is not about right vs wrong or good vs bad. Just notice what's in your kitchen.

COUNTING TIPS:

  • If you have 8 eggs or 3 kinds of mustard...  just write the word eggs or mustard in your notebook once.

  • Write an A next to egg and a P next to mustard.

  • Count "eggs" OR "mustard" as ONE type of food. 

  • Items with many ingredients - an estimate is ok.

WORDS FOR ANIMAL FOODS:

  • cows (beef); pigs (pork, bacon, sausage); mutton (sheep); chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys (poultry); shrimp, clams, mussels (seafood)

  • eggs and fish are called, well... eggs and fish!

  • cheeses, yoghurt, kefir, sour cream, ice cream, cow-goat-sheep milk, etc (dairy)

PANTRY

(spices, beans, rice, oats, etc)

A pantry can be a cupboard, a cabinet, or any area that stores dry goods: rice, beans, spices, canned tomatoes, etc. Write an A next to the foods that are animals or come from animals. Write a P next to the plant foods.

REFRIGERATOR

(broccoli, apples, mustard, etc)

A fridge is where fresh foods live like fruits and veggies. Foods like leftovers from last night's supper hang out there, too. Write an A next to the foods that are animals or come from animals. Write a P next to the plant foods.

FREEZER

(corn, berries, leftovers, etc)

A freezer might be at the top or bottom or side of your fridge. This is where some leftovers and frozen peas live. Write an A next to the foods that are animals or come from animals. Write a P next to the plant foods.

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JUNK FOODS

This is the category of foods that have things like trans and saturated fats, artificial colors and flavors, lots of salt and sugar, and are not healthy. There's not much nutrition in any of these foods. Like, at all. Donuts, ice cream, candy, potato chips, store-bought cookies, microwave popcorn, some crackers, and other snack foods are in this group. French fries, chicken nuggets, and most pizzas are on this list.

HOW  MANY...

Animal Foods?

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Plant Foods?

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Fruits + Veggies?

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Junk Foods?

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% FUN WITH PERCENTAGES %

  • First... how many foods do you have TOTAL in ALL categories? 

  • Second... how many foods do you have TOTAL in the four categories above?

  • Third... use this total number to calculate the PERCENTAGE in each category below.

What percentage of ANIMAL foods? 

What percentage of PLANT foods? 

What percentage of JUNK foods? 

What percentage of total FRUITS + VEGGIES?

(first add up Fs + Vs) 

Fall in love with plants!

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beans

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greens

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berries

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broccoli

Note to grown-ups... After this activity is done, you can use this info to create a NEW list with primarily plants! This can be your plant-powered inventory sheet, which can be used to create a shopping list whenever you shop. 

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