Cultivating Budding Chefs at Highland Village Farmers' Market

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Kellie Karavias and two budding cooks at the Farmers Market.
Last weekend I skipped my usual Saturday stop at the Eastside Urban Harvest Farmers' Market, and instead opted to visit the Sunday Urban Harvest Farmers' Market at Highland Village (2720 Suffolk at Westheimer) so I could check out their new cooking and nutrition class for kids. "Stick a Fork in It" was created by Kellie Karavias, a certified teacher and "foodie" who is also Houston ISD's very first elementary Culinary Arts Educator. Kellie is presently heading up the Culinary Arts program at Eleanor Tinsley Elementary School.

When I first got to Kellie's table, she was chopping fresh strawberries with her son. The day's menu featured "Tickle Me Pink" pancakes for Mother's Day. Kellie told me she wants to bring an appreciation for food and cooking to a new generation, one that she's observed as less engaged in where their food comes from. She is growing a beautiful organic garden with her students at Tinsley.

Kellie's classes at the farmers' market will use the fresh, local, seasonal ingredients found at the vendors' tables: Her "Tickle Me Pink" pancakes were tinted a pretty pink using beet juice, and her fresh-brewed mint tea was sweetened with agave nectar, which has a lower Glycemic index than sugar.

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Stick a Fork's mission statement reads: "We're done ... with childhood obesity, hunger, and sedentary lifestyles! Growing healthy kids is hot as a Habanero, and the time to raise our forks--pitched or pronged--is now!" The program has been featured on ABC News Now and on the Cooking Channel, and Kellie has been able to create and expand her mission using a $20,000 grant from Hidden Valley Ranch.

Kellie will be offering up three classes each Sunday at the Highland Village Market: 10 a.m.-11 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; 1 p.m.-2 p.m. for up to 10 kids per class. Kids ages 5 and up are welcome, and classes are $25 each (cash or check only, please).



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8 comments
Weedentracy
Weedentracy

Kellie:You are a food rock star, always keeping kids and the parents you serve at the forefront. Two enthusiastic forks up! I'm so proud of your new splash into the ocean of ways we can teach the next generation about healthy eating so they can reach their full human potential.Tracy

Carla
Carla

This is awesome, Kellie! You're always up to great things. Keep it up. ~Carla

Kellie
Kellie

So excited about sowing into the future. Thanks Urban Harvest for being an incredible support, HISD for the opportunity to grow into an unheard of position within the public school system, friends and family for voting with your forks for something better for kids, and Christina and the Houston Press for this wonderful introduction for my growing business Stick a Fork in it! The comments are so encouraging love you all! Together we can take a bite out of childhood obesity.

Arika Jordan
Arika Jordan

Kellie is a phenomenal teacher. She puts her heart in anything she does. She's an inspiration to the educational field. So proud of you girl!

Borkie69
Borkie69

As a colleague of Kellie's, I know first hand her dedication to the mission of ending childhood obesity. It is an epidemic and it has to stop. Her proactive stance is contagious and the kids love it! I watched her build a culinary program at my school from the ground up with no support or belief in it would suceed in an elementary school setting...and now she is on the cutting edge of what we as teachers, administrators, and parents need to believe in for the future of our children.

James Troutman
James Troutman

Kellie is incredible! She truly cares about children's nutrition and educating them on making healthy choices. Take your kiddos to her class, "STICK A FORK IN IT!", this Sunday. They will love it!

Ruthie J M
Ruthie J M

Yay Kellie! Can't wait to stop by and see you in action =)

trisch
trisch

So glad to see HISD supporting these kinds of programs. Even though I grew up in the city, most of my friends and I either grew up with vegetable patches in our backyards or neighbors who shared their harvests, so we were aware of where food comes from and the beauty of freshly harvested fruits and veggies. That's not the case anymore, so if kids can get some exposure to it at school, all the better!

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