Support Your Local United Way

Healthy Kids Community Activation Center - Culinary Class

Compared to just a few decades ago, kids are eating more "junk" food and drinking more sweetened beverages. But kids can learn how to make simple, healthy snacks for themselves and their friends and family.

Are you culinary-challenged? You don't have to be a gourmet chef to get things cooking!

How to Get Started ...

  • Make it tasty. Collect kid-friendly, healthy recipes by looking in books or online, asking good cooks you know for suggestions or enlisting the help of restaurant chefs. Stress low-cost ideas that rely on locally available fruits and veggies, low-fat dairy and whole grains, rather than sugar, salt and unhealthy fats. Examples include banana-oat muffins, hummus and pita or veggie pizza.
  • Set up a demonstration event or classes. Community centers, restaurants, commercial kitchens or school cafeterias have the space to invite a group of kids to watch or cook. If you're not comfortable cooking in front of a crowd, ask a professional chef, home cook, family-science (home ec) teacher or school cafeteria cook to help out.
  • Make enough so all can taste. Sometimes kids assume they won't like something healthy until they try it. Then, after a taste-yum! But remember--
  • Check on any food allergies first.
  • Be scrupulous about hygiene, including clean utensils and frequent hand-washing.
  • Send the recipes home. Write up and distribute copies so each kid goes home with the recipes prepared.
  • Set up a kids' cooking club. If kids are excited, meet regularly, using the resources below for ideas.

To Learn More ...

Check out these resources to cook with kids:

Or Consider This ...

Millions of kids eat one or two meals a day at school through federal Child Nutrition programs-often the bulk of their daily nutrition. The Women Infants and Children, or WIC, program also provides food assistance to babies and small children.

Congress is considering the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill right now. You can contact your Senators and representative to request that the bill-

  • Improve program access and participation by underserved children
  • Enhance nutrition quality and provide adequate reimbursement so, for example, school cafeterias can serve healthy food
  • Modernize and streamline nutrition programs so children benefit.

Share with Others ...

What's cooking in your community? Tell us about your kids' cooking classes or demos!