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A Typical Day: Transplanting to our Garden

Click on the image to expand the recipe book to the full screen.

Use the arrows to turn the pages. Enjoy!


End of the Year Party 

For the End-Of-The-Year Party, the children created their own recipes and prepared the book above for their parents. The book contains letters to the superintendent and their principals recommending healthy recipes for their school lunches. You can see the  wonderful recipes that they enjoyed making during their Real Kids Real Food Club Meetings. 


Presented with a bountiful table filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, the children were invited to brainstorm and create dishes for their parents.

With support from Marcus Gorman and Brian Axelrod, who led the team with program director Betsy Bragg, the children were free to create and create they did!

 Many loved the idea of making guacamole: “ I love touching the food,” said Kaylie. They teamed up to squeeze the lemons, mash the avocado pulp and add the other ingredients, which they later put back inside the empty avocado shell. Others loved making the smoothies they have grown to love, using the Vitamix blender and an array of colorful fruit. There were also salads and a few dessert items.

Parents and children loved the gathering, which also included traditional cooked foods. Several parents were inspired by the offer by Gorman to create their traditional dish flavors with the raw and plant-based diet ingredients.

Quotes from Real Kids Real Food Participants 

“ We love RKRF because we are having a potluck tonight with what we learned”
Jacob Rodriguez

 “This program teaches me to eat healthy food more than junk food.”
Daniella Mendoza

“ I like it soooo, so much because we get to make anything we want and everything is so yummy.”


 Field Trip to Enterprise Farm 

Week 11 Holiday Gift Making

Week 10 Worm Composting & Dehydrating Banana Chips & Flax Crackers

Week 9 Holiday Party

 Week 8 Learning to Read Labels & Linguini Zucchini with Marinara Sauce

Week 7 Phat Fats & Carob Mousse

MLC week 7


Week 6 Powerful Proteins & Kale Chips

Week 6 Kale Chips

Week 5 Fabulous Fiber & Applesauce

Week 5 Learning about Fiber

MLC week 5

 Week 4 Fun-damentals of Food Natural vs. Processed

MLC week 4

Week 3 Eating a Rainbow Part 2 & Leafy Salad

MLC week 3

Week 2 Eating a Rainbow Part 1

& Guacamole with Veggies

MLC week 1

 Week 1 Intro & Ninja Smoothies

MLC week1


Rosa, 10

My favorite thing about Real Kids, Real Food was the Family Culture Event, where families had to bring different foods from their culture. We had the event in the big room and a lot of families came. My friends Nevaeh and Ronaldo helped me make two different kids of fruit smoothies. We put strawberries, bananas, and mango in one of them, it was so delicious. Linda brought brocoli zetti and it was so good. It made me like broccoli a lot more.

We did some really hard and fun things like trying to find apples, carrots, and ginger in our garden. We found everything but the ginger, it was under the dirt. We learned so much from Real Kids, Real Food like how to eat healthier. 

Tracey Stearn -Mystic Learning Center Staff,

I joined the Mystic Learning Center in November, coming from an after school program in Havril.  When I  started seeing kids at my new program eating healthy snacks I thought it was so weird. I mean these kids were asking for humus and fruit and didn’t make sense  until I saw Real Kids, Real Food come in. It started to make more sense when I saw how they interacted with kids giving the healthy options and alternatives. We got spoiled by the program at our Christmas family potluck when they provided the appetizers, which all of our family members thought were amazing.

By the springtime, I grew so attached to the program that I decided to enroll in the instructor Betsy Bragg’s Raw Foods certification course. From there we started making big changes to our nutrition program. Our kids are truly enjoying eating healthy foods.

Jacob, 6

My favorite thing about Real Kids, Real Food was making smoothies. I got to put bananas and strawberries to the blender all by myself. The smoothies were so good. I now like smoothies more than I like candy. Now I make smoothies at home. Real Kids, Real Food was so much fun.


 James Holton Fox-Mystic Learning Center Staff

My first introduction to Real Kids Real food was during the fall of 2012. I had just started working at the Mystic Learning Center and was still unfamiliar with the many partner organizations that were teaching classes every week. I found the focus on healthy vegan snacks refreshing in the face of processed sugary snacks and junk food that children are accustomed to. To the children’s surprise I went for the somewhat exotic foods right away. My love of Kale chips and fresh carrots further cementing my place as a “weird” adult.
     Throughout the year while working with Real Kids Real Food, I saw many children become accustomed to and enjoy many healthy eating options they may have been previously unaware of. The program introduces a culture of conscious food preparation,appreciation of healthy alternatives to common foods, and a “try it, you’ll like it.” attitude that is important for picky eaters to embrace. After several months I noticed children enjoying and choosing healthy snacks that they might have scoffed at the previous fall. Real Kids Real Food has helped broaden the children’s culinary horizons.
     I noticed that many of the children enjoyed the food preparation aspect of the program. This seemed to be their time to really shine. The children experienced lots of learning through active participation and were proud of the meals and snacks they produced.

Please join our wonderful group of volunteers and staff

 Real Kids Real Food Staff

Optimum Health Solution/ Real Kids Real Food Director

Optimum Health Solution/ Real Kids Real Food Director

Brian Axelrod- Lead Teacher

Brian Axelrod- Lead Teacher

Marcus Gorman-Lead Teacher

Marcus Gorman-Lead Teacher

Stacey Butler-Intern Salem State

Stacey Butler-Intern Salem State

Aaron Darrell-Intern Bunker Hill Community College

Aaron Darrell-Intern Bunker Hill Community College

Carlyn Friedberg- Volunteer

Carlyn Friedberg- Volunteer

Danielle Gilde-Volunteer

Danielle Gilde-Volunteer

Ali Soucy-Intern

Ali Soucy-Intern

Miryam Wiley-Photographer

Miryam Wiley-Photographer

Nicole Mello- Graphic/Web Designer

Nicole Mello- Graphic/Web Designer

Our Volunteers’ Feedback

1904222_10152383637167065_8890545215667373359_nTayler LaHaise – Intern

Real Kids Real Food Intern:

  • Taught me about planning, organizing, and managing lesson plans and putting them into effect.
  • Gave me the opportunity to gain a hands-on experience with working with young children in an inner-city environment.
  • Helped me work on time management, organization, leadership, and communication skills.
  • Taught me an invaluable lesson about what it means to live a fit and healthy lifestyle by teaching the children eye-opening facts about sugars and fats, as well as diabetes and obesity.


1904222_10152383637167065_8890545215667373359_nAilish Dennigan – Intern

Increased my organizational and communication skills, and health knowledge.

  • Allowed me to work directly with the kids with a hands-on approach and witness first hand the changes that the program is making in their lives. The kids’ energy is contagious and I love seeing them get excited about the recipes and activities that we do each week.
  • Exposed me to the behind-the-scenes workings of a non-profit, and the power of collaboration across programs.
  • Altered my personal approach to healthy living and reinforced my interest in health education.


1904222_10152383637167065_8890545215667373359_nKatie Sullivan-Trainor

Eat to Thrive Intern:

  • Achieved my personal weight-loss goals, and fostered an overall healthy relationship with food
  • Provided opportunities for networking and engaging in the raw food community
  • Developed meaningful and lasting relationships with fellow participants

Real Kids Real Food Instructor and intern:

  • Gained self confidence and the ability to think quickly on my feet
  • Improved public speaking and communication skills
  • Learned about advanced planning and developing comprehensive lessons to meet educational goals


Steinberg Headshot

Sarah Steinberg-Intern

  • Strengthened my administrative organizational skills, focusing on tasks such as email correspondence, newsletter editing, and maintaining social networks.
  • Introduced me to educational health standards in regards to writing lesson plans for Real Kids Real Food
  • Introduced me to healthier lifestyle
  • Inspired me to want to work with inner city children and families spreading awareness about healthy options in everyday life.

Thank you for the wonderful experience that taught me so much about myself, and not only how I can live and feel healthier, but also how to empower others


BrianBrian Axelrod-Eat to Thrive Intern

  • Empowered to be a leader
  • Challenged my organizational skills
  • Allowed me to develop my lesson planning abilities
  • Inspired me to create my own juicing business with a kickstarter raising $7,000 to refurbish at trike for selling wheatgrass and sprouts and also have a robust group of peers to act as teachers for support
  • Became a lead teacher of Real Kids Real Food
  • Became an Optimum Health Solution volunteer staff member
  • Inspired to raise money to take a water ionizer to a South Indian raw food community called Satchitananda near the Bay of Bengal where I spent my Lesley College Junior Year Abroad  ( major in Global Studies and Holistic Health)


The concept of “Real Kids Real Food” orginated on the Children’s TV show, “JoJo’s DreamCart of LaRiccia Media and given permission to Optimum Health Solution to promote a healthy lifestyle for kids.”