Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Workshops in the children’s hospital

Written by Amy Davis

Our cohort is working increasingly in the children’s hospital and as part of this we delivered the first ever workshops in the hospital this week. Our objectives are to provide emotional support and information about nutrition for the parents of children with cancer. I was part of the nutrition team with our in-country volunteer Debbie and two other UK volunteers, Martha and Anthony. Eating healthily is massively important for children with cancer as they need vitamins and minerals not only to grow, but also to fight their disease and cope with the side effects of the disease itself.

Together we showed the parents of children in the hospital how to cook three healthy meals using tomatoes. We decided to take tomatoes as our core vegetable as they help fight the chronic inflammation which often causes the children in the hospital pain, whilst they also bolster the immune system, reduce damage to DNA and help block free radicals, which can cause cancer.

We knew we had to deliver the workshops in a hospital waiting area without access to electricity let alone a cooker. We chose to prepare or partially prepare these three simple recipes in front of the parents.

Two tomatoes
Olive oil (optional)
Lemon (optional)
Balsamis vinegar (optional)

- Chop the onions and tomatoes into small cubes and add the freshly chopped basil.
- Toast the bread.
- Drizzle the bread with olive oil and rub garlic on the bread.
- Place the tomato mixture on the bread.
- Pour over balsamic and or lemon.

Spaghetti Bolognese
Chopped Onions
Chopped Garlic
Chopped Peppers
3 diced Tomatoes

1) Boil the pasta.
2) In a separate pan fry the mince then add the garlic onions peppers and tomatoes.
3)  Simmer for 10 minutes and then serve the pasta and Bolognese sauce.

Mr Tomato Head
Two large tomatoes
Two grated carrots
One onion
One pepper
One sprig of basil

1) Boil your rice.
2) Fry the onions peppers and carrots together.
3) Mix the rice and fried vegetables together.
4) Cut a hole in the top of both tomatoes and scoop out the contents.
5) Place the rice in the tomatoes.
6) Use carrots to create eyes and a mouth for the tomatoes and a sprig of basil for the hair.

We also gave out packs with all the ingredients for bruschetta so the parents could test out the recipes for themselves.

Today was the first ever workshop in the children’s hospital. Myself, Martha, Debbie and Anthony had been working hard prepping recipes that we could demonstrate making and buying the bags of ingredients for bruschetta. We arrived with enough food for twenty people rather optimistically.

However in the wake of the strike described in the last blog the hospital was very empty and we were concerned to find that we only had two participants. However more people came mainly due to the efforts of Debbie, who despite never eating vegetables herself was massively enthusiastic about the workshop and managed to lure in loads of participants.

All of the participants appreciated our free tasters and seemed really keen to hear about the recipes. We managed to get rid of all our food incredibly fast. Having started the session holding back extreme panic we ended it in an incredibly positive mood. We are now incredibly excited for the strike to finish, word about our workshops to spread and for the next workshop to be even bigger than before.

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