Food & Fun!

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A woman with curly hair and a man with glasses are depicted artistically on a school lunch box.
Provided Graphic via Heritage Radio Network

 

It’s that time of year again, with Baltimore students of all ages starting a new school year. Families and their children are shopping for school clothes, supplies, backpacks, lunch boxes and everything they need to start the year off right. Families are always looking to get what their children need on a reasonable budget, including what to pack for tasty, nutritious school lunches.

One podcast has a theme of food and cooking for kids and their families. Time For Lunch on Heritage Radio Network—a food-centric station founded by Heritage Foods USA—has been a viewers choice nominee for Best Kids Programs on the Taste Awards, which covers the best in food, fashion and lifestyle programs.

Harry Rosenblum is one of the Time For Lunch hosts.

Q: Could you tell us about your show?

 H.R.: Time For Lunch is a place to learn about eating, cooking, enjoying—and sometimes playing— with your food. Each episode will cover a new subject; taking a close look at one item, or ingredient, that might be found at the lunch table.

Listeners are invited to participate, sharing jokes on-air or following along with in-episode quizzes and games. Hosted by (myself) and Hannah Fordin, the show looks at food through the lens of history, culture and play to celebrate and learn about the people and places that feed us.

Q: What inspired the Time For Lunch Podcast?

 H.R.: When I was a kid in (New York) in the 80s, there was an amazing daily radio show on WNYC called Kids America that I used to listen to and call in to be on the show. It was full of cool facts and fun information and was a great thing to keep me busy while my parents were getting dinner ready or whatever else they needed to do in the 6-8 p.m. time slot.

Hannah and I had been talking about creating a show for kids on (Heritage Radio Network) for a while, and we were working on it in early 2020, with a plan to launch it that summer. When things shut down for (COVID-19), we decided that it was important to launch it ASAP, so we released our first episode March 27, 2020. My kids had been home from school for two weeks and were working at home, so we decided that if I needed something to keep my kids busy, so did other parents.

Q: Do you have a favorite episode?

 H.R.: “Pickles” because it was a great collaboration with Richard Parks III of Richard’s (Famous) Food Podcast. podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pickles/id1504928110?i=1000493366133

Q: What is the process like for creating Time For Lunch episodes?

H.R.: One of us—Hannah, me or Isaac (our intern)—takes the lead on producing each episode. That means that once we decide on the topic, the producer writes the episode. Every episode follows essentially the same format and has the same sections: Intro: What am I?, Anecdotes from Hannah and Harry, Jokes, Question of the Day, Ask and Expert, Fun Facts, Recipe, Bright Spot, Answer of the Day, Outro.

 Q: What makes your podcast popular with families?

H.R.: We offer a short and exciting look at something we all do every day (eat food!) with facts for kids to share with family and friends and interesting guests that appeal to adults and kids of all ages.

 Q: Do you have any tips and suggestions for people interested in learning and/or encouraging others about food and cooking?

 H.R.: You have to be willing to try anything once. That way, at least you have some idea of what you like and what you don’t like! Start by learning to make some of your favorite foods. If you like pasta, learn to make it!

Q: If you could create your own school lunch, what would you have?

 H.R.: I love Japanese-style bento, with a little bit of a variety of things—so some rice, some fish, pickled vegetables, some potato salad and fresh fruit.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for packing and creating school lunches for families on a budget?

 H.R.: I like to pack leftovers from dinner for lunch. It’s a great way to extend the cooking and not have to cook again for lunch. I also think that things like soup or quesadillas are great because you can add bits of meat and vegetables to make them more exciting and use whatever you have on hand in there.

Q: Baltimore families are always open to new ideas and ways to pack tasty lunches for their students. Can you recommend something uniquely Maryland or Baltimore that can be a fun addition to a school lunch for kids? (For example a snack or lunch side)

H.R.: I’m not super familiar with specific foods of Baltimore or Maryland, but I do know that it is a fertile area with lots of small farms, so I would suggest anything that is in season and that you can get from as close by as possible.  Strawberries were just in season, and I bet cherries and stone fruit are coming soon with melons later in the summer!

How can listeners participate in your show and listen to the Time For Lunch podcast?

H.R.: Record yourself using the Voice Memo app on an iPhone and email your questions, jokes, and recipes to [email protected].

You can listen to the Time For Lunch podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Heritage Radio Network. Learn more about the podcast on heritageradionetwork.org/series/time-lunch

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