Learning Through Relationships

Community Food of the Month

This month’s community food is sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes come in many different forms and can provide many opportunities for language and sensory exploration. Try buying fresh sweet potatoes. Before you cut the sweet potatoes, can you guess or draw what you might see inside? Making these predictions can help to promote abstract thinking. Sweet potatoes also come canned as well as in the form of sweet potato fries. Try making your own sweet potato fries at home! There are many different ways to make sweet potatoes; mashed, baked and roasted. Explore the similarities and differences between the many different ways you can make sweet potatoes, using this an opportunity to discuss textures, colors, and other descriptive terms, such as “hard” vs “soft”.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Shopping List

First, check your pantry! Determine what ingredients you already have and what you need to buy.

CROSS OUT the ingredients you already have
CIRCLE the ingredients you need

Sweet Potatoes Olive Oil Garlic Powder

Chili Powder Corn Starch Salt

Don’t be afraid to add your own flair and familiar flavors! Sweet potato fries can be made many different ways. Does your family like sweeter foods? Try making cinnamon-sugar sweet potato fries! Use this as an opportunity to be creative and work together to decide what your family wants it to taste like!

How much money do you think these ingredients will cost?


After shopping, how much did you spend?



Baked Sweet Potato Fries
30 minutes

2 pounds of sweet potatoes (about 3 large ones)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 425º F
Cut the potatoes into fries. Wash the sweet potatoes, leaving on the skin. Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice the potato in half lengthwise. Place the potato half cut side down and cut off 1/4 -inch slice, then lay the slice on its side and cut into several long strips. Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries!
Place the fries in a large bowl; drizzle with the olive oil, then add the garlic powder, salt, chili powder, and cornstarch. Mix thoroughly!
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the fries on the paper, placing them as far apart as possible.
Bake 15 minutes on one side, then flip the fries and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until the fries are dry and slightly browned.
Let cool for about 5 minutes and enjoy!

Community-Based Activities

Winter is finally here! Encourage your young adult to plan ahead for your adventure. What will the weather be like? How will you get there? Would they like to invite along any friends? Planning ahead can lead to ample opportunities for engaging in back and forth circles of communication, and problem-solving!

January Events:

Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden
Model trains running through a display of more than 175 famous New York Landmarks.
Running until January 26, 2020.

NYC Winter Lantern Festival — Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island
Eight acres of LED lights that manifest an Asian flair (think pandas, dragons and florals)
Running until January 12, 2020

Hello Panda Festival — Citi Field, Queens
Largest Lantern Festival in North America that features more than 120 lantern exhibits.
Until January 26, 2020
Sloomoo Institute Slime — SoHo, Manhattan
Sensory playground centered around slime

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