• WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - Family member Candice Williams aids son, C.J. as he creates a ladder made of pretzels to complete his fire truck snack, Feb. 23. The "Kids in the Kitchen" event provided a learning experience as children experimented with various food products.

    Keiki create edible art at monthly program

    WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - Family member Candice Williams aids son, C.J. as he creates a ladder made of pretzels to complete his fire truck snack, Feb. 23. The "Kids in the Kitchen" event provided a learning experience as children experimented...

  • WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - Ava LaMar, 2, spreads red frosting on a graham cracker for the base of her edible fire truck. Fourteen children gathered for the monthly "Kids in the Kitchen" event to experiment with food, Feb. 23 at the Armed Services YMCA.

    Keiki create edible art at monthly program

    WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - Ava LaMar, 2, spreads red frosting on a graham cracker for the base of her edible fire truck. Fourteen children gathered for the monthly "Kids in the Kitchen" event to experiment with food, Feb. 23 at the Armed Services...

  • WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - An edible art project lay on the table of the Armed Services YMCA, begging to be eaten. Children brushed up on their motor skills as they created an art project turned delicious snack, Feb. 23.

    Keiki create edible art at monthly program

    WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - An edible art project lay on the table of the Armed Services YMCA, begging to be eaten. Children brushed up on their motor skills as they created an art project turned delicious snack, Feb. 23.

  • WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - With the help of moms, 14 keiki gathered at the Armed Services YMCA to create interactive edible art, Feb. 23. The "Kids in the Kitchen" event provided a learning experience as children experimented with various food products.

    Keiki create edible art at monthly program

    WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - With the help of moms, 14 keiki gathered at the Armed Services YMCA to create interactive edible art, Feb. 23. The "Kids in the Kitchen" event provided a learning experience as children experimented with various food...

  • WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - Alexis Philippi, 2, tastes her edible art project during "Kids in the Kitchen" at the ASYMCA, Feb. 23. Children gathered to create a fire truck out of snack foods for a day of interactive learning.

    Keiki create edible art at monthly program

    WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - Alexis Philippi, 2, tastes her edible art project during "Kids in the Kitchen" at the ASYMCA, Feb. 23. Children gathered to create a fire truck out of snack foods for a day of interactive learning.

<b><i>Children get creative in the kitchen and learn healthy eating habits along the way </i></b>

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - Growing up, I heard it a thousand times: "Don't play with your food." Yet, today, I still have the hankering to hammer out the occasional mashed potato sculpture or draw a smiley face in ketchup on my hamburger.

Why' Because it's fun.

As 14 keiki and their parents gathered at the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA), they too experienced the fun of playing with food during "Kids in the Kitchen," here, Feb. 23.

The monthly event brought keiki under the age of 5 together for a day of interactive, edible art. The keiki learned the importance of food and well-rounded meals and snacks by artfully arranging the items on their plate.

Participants sat around a long table, which presented various food products, including graham crackers, colored frosting, cream cheese, pretzels and crackers on a round plate.

With help from nearby moms, children then began to construct a fire truck using the edible materials.

"This brings the kids together and teaches them how to work with each other," said family member April Philippi. "It gets them excited."

The pint-sized "chefs" spread red frosting on their graham crackers and used circular butter crackers as wheels. Pretzels posed as a ladder and a strawberry topping created a tasteful siren.

The keiki giggled as they sampled their fire trucks, starting the morning off right with an appropriate sugar rush.

"It's messy," said 2-year-old Mac Frieri, looking at his frosting-covered fingers.

Mac's mom, Molly Frieri, smiled and nodded in agreement.

"This is a great program to let the kids know that food is fun," she said, "and he is learning and experiencing something new."

Kids in the Kitchen teaches motor skills, sharing, the importance of listening, and following directions. It allows children to experience different textures and tastes, according to Dela LaFleur, branch director of ASYMCA.

The program also touches on counting, colors and creativity.

Kids in the Kitchen was introduced at Wheeler Army Airfield (WAAF) nearly three years ago to promote healthy living and a well-rounded diet. The program gives children an opportunity to experiment with food and gain knowledge about the importance of healthy eating.

Most of all, Kids in the Kitchen is meant to be fun.

For more information on Kids in the Kitchen, contact the Armed Services YMCA at 808-624-5645.

Page last updated Tue March 3rd, 2009 at 14:37