(cool) progeny is thrilled to partner with Tastewise Kids on this “Ask an Expert” series! Designed for parents to read with their kids, the Ask an Expert monthly column will introduce you to Baltimore’s farm and culinary professionals so that kids can learn more about our community’s food system. This month? Let’s celebrate Women’s History Month and healthy eating!

First, what is Women’s History Month?

March is women’s history month. It is 31 days dedicated to recognizing women of the past and the present that have done great things to help and inspire others. Women have made contributions to our society in so many unique and wonderful ways. During the month of March try to find time to honor and celebrate women in your life and try to discover women to learn about.

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Ask the Expert: Tonya Thomas, Chef and Co-owner H3IRLOOM Food Group

How would you describe your job to a child?

Many people know me as a chef, which I am. But, I would say I am part of the food industry in ways that are beyond cooking. I am a creator, educator, and entrepreneur.

Why is women’s history month important to you?

Women’s history month is very important to me. There are so many women in history that we have learned about, but we should be more uplifting to women in general. The women in history are important and so are the women in your personal lives and communities. Find opportunities to uplift women in your life. Women’s history month gives us time to express our gratefulness to women of the past and to uplift women around us.

Do you have any female role models you would tell younger people about?

There are so many women that are role models. To me, my grandmother and mother are my greatest role models. My grandmother could do anything. Her life was dedicated to family and she was inspiring. My mom is the matriarch. Her life has been dedicated to education. Even now when she is retired she is always finding ways to educate people by tutoring or in any way she can. I have learned that everyone can educate people no matter what you do and that is important to know.

How do you think we can celebrate women’s history month regarding food?

Create a dish to think of someone. I try to do this as often as I can because food can bring back memories. If you want to celebrate a woman in your life, cook something that reminds you of them or that they have inspired you to eat.

What are 3 words to describe healthy eating?

Fresh. Local. Nutritious.

If you were to give a suggestion of ways to “eat a rainbow” what would you say?

Make sure you have every color on your plate. How many colors can you touch throughout your day by the foods you are eating. I ask myself this every day when I am thinking of what I have snacked on. I try to make sure I include yellow, green, red, orange, and purple each day. It is easier than you think!

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Ask the Expert: Lane Harlan, Owner of Clavel, Fadensonnen, W.C. Harlan

How would you describe your job to a child?

I create spaces that feel welcoming to the public. Places to eat, drink, and spend time with family and friends. I try to feed people things that feel nostalgic and satisfied. I want the places to be warm like the feeling of Christmas lights.

Why is women’s history month important to you?

It is important to celebrate achievements of women who have inspired young generations to make positive changes in the world.

Do you have any female role models you would tell younger people about?

There are so many role models that I personally have, but one that I will always mention because everyone will know her is Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama is a role model to us all for so many reasons.

How do you think we can celebrate women’s history month regarding food?

I would recommend everyone to ask this question to their Grandma. Grandmas are the best and Grandma food is my favorite food. They know how to feed and please people. They know history and have stories to share. They have simplified techniques of cooking that satisfy everyone. Everyone should call their Grandma!

What are 3 words to describe healthy eating?

Energizing. Happy Tummy. Nourishing.

If you were to give a suggestion of ways to “eat a rainbow” what would you say?

Find a way to put all the food groups together. I would suggest green beans, strawberries, sweet potatoes and to pick your protein.

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#TasteWiseKids Challenge: Eat a Rainbow!

Rainbows are a wide variety of colorful things! Did you know that by creating a rainbow for a snack or a meal you are helping your body eat healthy? Help your body grow by adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet because the nutritional value in eating a rainbow is good for you!

Let’s get ready to eat a rainbow! Here’s what you need to do to take this month’s challenge:

  • Make a plan! Will your rainbow be a snack or a meal? Will you make a sweet or a savory rainbow?
  • Find a plate to create your rainbow on.
  • Have fun building a rainbow!
  • Take a picture to remind yourself to eat healthy. Have a parent post it to social media and tag @TasteWiseKids and @CoolProgeny with #TWKAtHome!
  • Enjoy your rainbow by yourself or share it with someone at home.
  • Remember, you do not have to include ALL colors of a rainbow. Try to include as many as you can!