From the Field: Hands-on Food Literacy for All Ages at LeTourneau University

A group of children attend a cooking demonstration with brightly colored placcemats and tablecloths under their fruits and vegetables.

LeTourneau University in Longview, TX recently welcomed Nina Abramson from the Bon Appétit national marketing and food education team to campus for a variety of student- and community-focused events. What a fun week we had!  

First, Nina introduced the university and community to the Healthy Kids in the Bon Appétit Kitchen program.  Nina and members of the LeTourneau culinary team traveled to our local Boys & Girls Club for a workshop with 40 participating young people, along with the CEO and area director. A smiling young girl with braids in her hair holds up a fruit kebab with melon, grapes, and strawberries.The children learned about healthy eating and cooking with fresh fruits and vegetables and made fun vegetable pinwheels and rainbow fruit kebabs.  

The team came back to campus to host another Healthy Kids session for the children of the LeTourneau faculty and staff. While teaching the kids about healthy eating and cooking, they led a demonstration on how to make ranch dressing for the vegetable pinwheels. As the group made vegetable pinwheels and rainbow fruit kebabs, the children were also introduced to some new and different fruits and vegetables. Everyone tasted jicama and star fruit, and the uncommon vegetable and fruit were a hit,with several children asking for seconds!  

But the experiential learning didn’t end with local community kids, it also extended to LeTourneau students. During the week, Nina and Bon Appétit Catering Manager Frankie Cendejas set up a Weigh the Waste station at lunch in the Corner Café. It was eye-opening for the students to see exactly how much food, liquid, and paper waste the students generated in just one lunch period.  

An array of small posters highighting the issue of food waste

Nina and Frankie also set up a hydration station in the Corner Café as a Food for Your Well-Being pop-up. The students loved the orange-blueberry-rosemary and cucumber-lime-basil-mint spa waters.  

It was a great educational and fun week. The LeTourneau faculty, staff, and students, and the Boys & Girls Club all emailed with their gratitude for the programs and parents shared how much their little ones enjoyed the Healthy Kids classes. We have already had requests for more Healthy Kids programs to be scheduled this year and requests to make it a twice a year program. Thank you, Nina and Frankie – we are thrilled to bring these programs that boost food literacy throughout the campus and the community at large!  

Submitted by Laura Cobb, general manager at LeTourneau University

From the Field is our series of submissions from team members working on-site in our cafés. These stories demonstrate the depth and range of the hands-on learning experiences – in wellness, food literacy, cooking, sustainability, and more – that Bon Appétit brings to the table for our clients and communities.