Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tasty Tuesday

Irving Berlin's White Christmas is one of my most favorite movies of all time. Bing Crosby's character, Bob, is a very business minded fellow, always looking for the "angle" or agenda in situations to make the most of the performance or situation. Bob has a classic line early in the film saying to Betty Haynes, "Come now, Miss Haynes, everybody's got a little larceny in them".

In my "regular" life I'm a high school teacher for kids with moderate to severe cognitive disabilities.  My role is referred to as "Functional Life Skills" class. It's a great job because I get to teach them cooking, cleaning, personal care, budgeting, and all of the stuff our "regular" kids don't get because they are busy learning academic stuff they will need for college and careers. The state and federal government has done their part in making my students accountable for being "college and career ready" now as well. Whatever that means for them. I'm dealing with various levels of reading and comprehension, sensory, and texture issues. Oh, and the almighty budget of course (womb-womp).

As health conscious as I am, coupled with all of my students having cooking basic recipes/following simple directions goals in their IEP's, how do I also teach them proper nutrition without it being like I'm preaching my stuff to them? It seems unethical for me to push my agenda? I have an ethical problem with teaching my kiddos to prepare Easy Mac or Hamburger Helper for the sake of meeting a goal. Their goal is to be able to cook for themselves independently after high school. The best things I have for them to meet this goal is pre-packaged, high carb, high sugar, crap food. Thank the good Lord above I have a lot of flexibility in my job because Mrs. Reinholt is about to get real all up in Life Skills menu planning. Now, because I have to use the Easy Mac to assess, I will do one assessment with that. With that I will evaluate the cost, the ease of preparation, and the kids' success in completing the task.  I don't have to evaluate whether or not they actually like that food, just if they can do it in dependently with few prompts. Again, I fail to see the worth of that activity. They should be learning things they like! Things they will continue to do after school, right? I believe there should be a connection, something meaningful there in the assessment, not just assessing for the sake of assessment. Oh the wonders of politics in public education.

Anyone have any ideas of cleaner recipes that I can buy ingredients in bulk yet prepare individually? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm happy to share any resources I may have as well.

On to today's Tasty Tuesday Recipe: Overnight Chia Pudding

1/3 cup chia seeds
1 13.5oz can coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Fruit or berries of choice (save for when you serve)

Mix chia seeds, milk, and vanilla in a pint jar or an airtight bowl. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Place in refrigerator overnight. The seeds will soak up the milk and expand slightly. It's pretty thick when it comes out of the fridge, so if you prefer a runnier consistency, you can substitute almond milk beverage for half of the canned coconut milk. Add the Fruit or berries of your choice (I had thawed peaches left from a smoothie) and enjoy.  The jar of completed pudding is 2 servings. It's pretty filling. I don't care for any additional sweetening, but you can sweeten with honey to your taste. Enjoy!

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