Adventures in family cooking
From left, Isaiah Lovato and Jared Branch participate in a Cooking with Kids class at Amy Biehl Community School. Photo by Kitty Leaken.
Adventures in family cooking
From left, Emily Nielsen and Kamryn Beuker Photo by Kitty Leaken
- Cooking with Kids
Program empowers youth
In operation since 1995, Cooking with Kids aims to educate and empower children and their families to make healthy food choices. Their method is through hands-on learning, using fresh and affordable foods. This year they will guide more than 5,000 Santa Fe public school students from preschool through sixth grade in preparing foods from all over the world.
The children cook in small groups with a parent or teacher assisting. A Cooking with Kids staff introduces the ingredients they will use and talks about the country where the food originates. Last fall, students learned about Italy while they made fettuccine and talked about Mexico as they made tamales. This school semester, kids will be making and tasting North African tagine, Middle Eastern falafel and tomato cucumber salad and French potatoes persillade with spinach salad.
More than 1,300 family volunteers participate in Cooking with Kids classes each year. After each cooking class, kids are sent home with a booklet that includes the recipe they made as well as information about the ingredients used and a map of the country studied.
Cooking with Kids connects its classes and nutrition education to student learning by meeting Common Core State Standards in language arts, math and health education. Also, it works with school cafeterias to serve Cooking With Kids meals twice a month as the school lunch. At schools that have gardens, such as Amy Biehl Community School, a Cooking with Kids staff person manages the garden, and students help cultivate produce that are used in recipes. The kids contribute compost, such as peelings from carrots and cucumbers, to the garden.
To download free Cooking with Kids recipes or learn more about the nonprofit’s programs, visit www.cookingwithkids.net.
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 7:00 am
Updated: 5:33 pm, Fri Feb 21, 2014.
Cooking with the family is a fun activity — and serious business. If it’s shaped into a positive routine where the entire family can join in the process, chances are good that it will inform a lifetime of healthy eating habits. While advanced menu planning and pre-emptive pantry stocking may not always be the center of activity inside the average home, preparing and eating a meal together as a family is worth the effort. For most of us, nutritional habits begin at our parents’ dinner table and are either reinforced or reinvented as we age. With a little conscious attention and planning, enjoying a meal cooked with the family can easily become a regular practice.
“Food preferences are determined at early ages,” said Lynn Walters, founder and executive director of Cooking with Kids, a nonprofit organization in Santa Fe that fills a much-needed component in nutritional education, one that engages children and families to cook together — with the belief that cooking can be fun and have lifelong benefits.
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Health and wellness
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 7:00 am.
Updated: 5:33 pm.