HIGHWOOD, Ill. (WLS) --Students at Oak Terrace Elementary School in Highwood are very serious about their after-school activity: making their own snacks. Using foods they normally wouldn't even try, today's snack is created from a program from the Northern Illinois Food Bank .
"Because we know that kids are more likely to try a new food if they make it themselves as opposed to us being like 'here try this bell pepper. It's really good.' They're not necessarily going to try it unless they make it themselves," Jennifer Lamplough, director of nutrition programs, Northern Illinois Food Bank, said.
Even though Lake County is one of the wealthiest areas in Illinois, there are many pockets of hunger there.
"Half of the people that we serve are kids and so being able to provide children with nutritious food, getting them excited about eating vegetables or trying brown rice, really helps them to improve their nutrition, their imagination and their experimentation in life," Donna Lake, Northern Illinois Food Bank, said.
The young chefs were excited about experimenting with brown rice rolls.
"We mixed up the vegetables with a dressing and then we put rice in the bag and we put the vegetables in the bag and we put a little cheese and then we squeezed it into the corner of the bag and made a little ball. Then we ate it out of the bag," Noah Hersch, 10, said.
Guess what? They liked it.
"I thought it wasn't going to taste good, but wow! It actually was," Dylan Soto, 9, said.
"I'm going to tell my parents if we can do this at home!" Iliana Borca said.
Northern Illinois Food Bank has worked with five after-school programs and served about 250 students. Find out how to bring the program to your school at solvehungertoday.org.