The squirming feet and wiggling hands always makes it a little unnerving to unload a plastic tub of knives and cutting boards in an elementary school classroom. But our Nutrition Services team and volunteers are now pros at presenting the knife safety portion of the Cooking Matters for Kids class, and we usually get that out of the way first.
Second Harvest’s six-week Cooking Matters for Kids (a partnership with Share Our Strength) teaches children in 3rd through 5th grade how to prepare healthy meals and snacks and to make smart choices wherever they go – at school, at home, at the store, or out to eat. Kids become empowered to make healthy food choices and to teach and influence their families back home.
In fact, the first-ever long term study of Cooking Matters showed the six-week cooking, shopping and nutrition course has a powerful, sustained impact that is significantly greater than changes that would have occurred without an intervention. This research shows that six months after the course, families are cooking meals more often and making their meals healthier and more budget-friendly.
It is this interest in long-term change work that connects hunger, food insecurity, and health that brought our Nutrition Services team to Thomasville Schools earlier this week with crates of apples, bananas, and peanut butter.
The recipe was Apple Wraps—a simple way to combine protein, potassium and other essential vitamins into an easy to handle, kid-friendly snack. But cooking with kids is not just about getting healthy snacks and meals into their hands, it’s also about empowering them to make good food choices, be an active part of their own dietary habits, and infusing them with skills that will serve their long term health and well-being.
Want to give it a spin in your own kitchen at home? Here is the recipe for Apple Wraps—as our pictures show, it is a big hit with kids.
Interested in volunteering to help with a Cooking Matters class? Contact us here.