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Healthy eats: Girl Scouts putting together recipe book

Taylor Wiles, a member of Troop 41784, slices apples while testing recipes for a book on healthy eating. Local Girl Scouts put together the book for a Gold Award project. - Courtesy photo
Taylor Wiles, a member of Troop 41784, slices apples while testing recipes for a book on healthy eating. Local Girl Scouts put together the book for a Gold Award project.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Mount Si High School’s Girl Scout Troop 41784 wanted the prestige of claiming the highest honor in girls scouting.

“We all wanted the Gold Award,” said Riley Edwards, Troop 41784 member.

With Edwards in the lead, they took a food journey, thinking about the things they eat in new ways. Starting in March, the girls learned about how the choices they make that impact the food network. They explored buying locally and organic, and cooking from scratch rather than eating packaged foods.

“When you go into the grocery store with your family, you’re not paying that much attention to what you eat,” said Natalie Brookes, a Troop 41784 member. “This project helped me become more aware of what I’m eating and notice what’s organic.”

Going for the gold, the scouts worked to leave a legacy of service to their community behind long after the girls move on with their lives.

“We chose a project to help share what we’ve learned, and encourage others to think about the food they buy in different terms than calories and what’s on sale,” Edwards said. “We decided to do a recipe booklet and thought of all the people in our community who would benefit from it.”

The scouts’ booklet featured recipes using fresh produce from the Northwest. Recipes were healthy, easy to make and child-friendly.

Beginning the process of sharing their booklet with the community, the troop gave out copies to the women at House of Hope, a local women’s shelter.

“A ton of the moms were interested in cooking for their families,” Edwards said. “We’re trying to pass it around as much as possible, and we all committed to get it out in a different way.”

Some girls chose to share the recipe book with the Mount Si Senior Center, others with Valley preschools. The project has brought them closer to achieving the Gold Award. At the same time, it has given them the ability to learn and teach the community the benefits of being conscious about locally grown and organic food.

“This whole learning experience was very empowering for them,” said Troop leader Jo Ann Brookes. “It’s given the girls some very valuable life-long skills, teaching them how to look critically at what they purchase and where their food comes from.

“I’m proud of them and I’m hoping they all learned a lot from it,” she added.

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