Cooking with kids can be creative and educational but for me it’s normally just terrifying. My strong willed four year old is happy to jump in the kitchen with me, but specifically to handle sharp objects and to make a mess. There’s absolutely no way she’s putting anything she cooks herself in her mouth, unless it’s a smoothie (fortunately she likes kale smoothies). When I heard about Kids Food Festival I was intrigued and hoped for an opportunity to have a fun family day focusing on healthy foods.
Well, we did have a fun family day. And there were healthy foods there. Not sure it made the impact I had hoped but we sure did come home with a ton of free samples. Many are things we already have in our pantry but lots of new treats too. And most of them are fairly healthy, for prepackaged snacks.
As with anything that is free, especially free food, there were those aggressive New Yorkers happy to throw an elbow in front of you to snag a bag of pomegranate flavored lentil chips. Or steam roll you with their stroller to grab a sample of powdered goats milk formula fortified with the sun. Regardless, the people working the event were all lovely and most kids attending looked happy.
This is an annual event. As you enter you pick up a booklet with a paper plate printed on one page. Then you go through the event getting a stamp from various booths promoting their healthy food snacks/products. When complete you show it to the goody bag table to retrieve your awesome prize, a fabric Honest Tea tote bag filled with an amazing array of snacks and products.
There is also a stage with entertainment throughout the day including some bands. While there we attended a cooking class in the James Beard Foundation Future Foodies Pavilion, there was an extra fee to take the class. The host, child chef Josh Reisner, was adorable as he lead the class full of both kids and adults through a recipe of Asian lettuce wraps. The class ran a bit long and our four year old lost interest so it was a bit of a bust for us but many others were captivated by the little charmer.
After the cooking class we walked around a bit more, met up with Snoopy for some pictures and snagged a few more samples while watching ice skaters in the rink at the center of the park. It was a fun afternoon.
So, should you go? The goody bag is a reason alone to attend. Plus Bryant Park is fantastic. They have free ice skating (if you bring your own skates) and free juggling. They also have a cute carousel for $3/ride. We had a lovely day, learned maybe a little about healthy eating, came home with a sack of groceries and only spent $6. It was a nice way to spend a Saturday as a family.
Dates: March 5th and 6th 2016
Bryant Park, NYC
10am – 4pm