Home > Ask > P.S. 90 students get a hands on education in healthy eating.

YW After School Program students at P.S. 90 recently completed a four-week curriculum on nutrition, designed by a nutritional specialist Margaret Dunn-Carver. The fourth and fifth grade students learned the importance of a healthy diet, how to create several healthy recipes, and how to apply their newly gained knowledge at home with their parents. In addition to learning healthy food options, students were each given their own apron to personalize.

Alexus mixes basil leaves into whole wheat pasta

About the Curriculum

My name is Margaret Dunn-Carver and I am delighted to act as a nutrition educator and healthy cooking teacher for the YWCA-NYC Afterschool Program at P.S. 90, Coney Island. My own infatuation with cooking began in my mother’s kitchen. With the aid of children’s cookbooks, guidance from my creative mother, and fresh ingredients from my family’s garden, I began my culinary exploration. Throughout my childhood, my siblings and I reveled in the creation of our own recipes. The kitchen was our laboratory- we made everything from vinegar and baking soda volcanoes to guacamole.

With this same sense of delight and curiosity, it is my goal to engage the students in the YW’s afterschool program. The curriculum promotes health and wellness for all students as well as for the planet. It educates children on how they can incorporate, explore, and identify healthy lifestyles choices as well as create a sustainable kitchen in their own homes. Classes focus on empowering students with language to talk about healthful foods and physical activity with their community and family members. We also embrace sustainable practices in the kitchen such as recycling, sourcing local foods, and composting. Participating students learn how to identify and try healthful foods as well as how to prepare a selection of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. To bring healthy eating full circle, in the spring session, students work together to build a school garden.

Please share in our delight in the kitchen by enjoying one of the recipes we created during the program. The 4th and 5th graders have given it rave reviews. Enjoy!

Vibrant Vegetables: Tzatziki

1 cup low fat Greek yogurt
1 medium cucumber
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1 clove finely minced garlic
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1. Peel and shred the cucumber.

2. Get rid of excess water by squeezing the shredded cucumber between the palms of your hands.

3. In a bowl, mix in the remaining ingredients and add freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

4. Serve over sliced cucumber rounds or with pita chips.

Margaret Dunn-Carver, MS has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Vermont (UVM). For her graduate studies, she focused on early childhood obesity prevention research. As part of her undergraduate and graduate work at UVM, she worked behind the scenes for a behavioral weight loss research team. In addition to her educational pursuits, she seeks out a variety of experiences with the common thread of health and nutrition.