Improving school food has become an important goal for food system advocates and organizations, including our First Lady Michelle Obama. And with the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act coming up for renewal in 2015 with funding threats already brewing by a Congress in the middle of an election season, finding ways to give our children healthier food and nutrition education at school remains a top priority and requires an all hands on deck approach, from government, nonprofits, parents as well as well-trained and informed staff at schools and community groups that work with youth.
FamilyCook Productions has a few spots left for its upcoming training programs for school and community group staff who are looking for creative healthy food programming for teens and elementary school students. FamilyCook is a nonprofit that run culinary and nutrition education programs designed to bring families together around delicious, fresh food while positively impacting their health and well-being. Their training programs prepare and license school and community group staff to conduct FamilyCook Productions programs in their own communities and are designed for the most basic learning environments, even those without fancy kitchen facilities. The training gives participants without prior cooking experience or a college education basic skills and confidence to successfully run a FamilyCook program by teaching them:
- Culinary skills, emphasizing knife skills and safety to easily prepare fresh food and vegetables
- Food safety & hygiene
- Fundamental nutrition principals and healthy eating strategies
- Recipe demonstration/presentation in front of an audience
- Collaborative recipe preparation with children (and parents)
- Program management
The upcoming April 18th and May 27th sessions will train participants to conduct:
Teen Battle Chef, a youth development program exploring culinary, nutrition, food systems and gardening education, while battling obesity and chronic disease. Young people develop leadership, teamwork, and culinary skills while gaining nutrition knowledge and a new appreciation for diverse, healthy and sustainably-produced food. The Teen Battle Chef program is semester-long, involving basic culinary/nutrition skill training through weekly sessions where two teams of up to 6 youth collaborate to prep a recipe from a designated culture. Along with the recipe, each team is given a basic knife skills ‘clinic’ (by facilitating adult), recipe technique coaching, cultural and nutritional background on the recipe and all the equipment and ingredients. At the end of the semester, each team creates a presentation, to demonstrate their recipe – working against the clock just like in a TV cooking show, describing its cultural background and nutritional value for the other team, their fellow students and other audience members.To see Teen Battle Chef in action, click here, featuring Star Jones, former Former First Lady of New York Michelle Paige-Paterson, Former Governor of New York, David Paterson, Bravo TV’s Chef Roble and more at this August 2013 Teen Battle Chef LIVE! in Harlem, sponsored by EmblemHealth.
Look Who’s Cooking, a ground-breaking elementary culinary and nutrition program that teaches students how to lead a healthier lifestyle by experiencing how families in diverse cultures approach food and cooking using fresh ingredients. Family Cook Productions trains school or community group staff to implement its curriculum, available electronically, to combat the growing obesity problem in youth. The curriculum includes:
- The fifteen weeks of culinary/nutrition lessons are linked to the seasons across the school year.
- Multicultural program recipes utilize fresh ingredients, and emphasize nine nutritional priorities such as: breakfast, portion control, juices, fast food, food marketing, restaurants, and snacking.
- Several ‘family night’ lessons involve parents assisting their ‘young chefs’ to prepare a meal at school.
Upcoming Training dates:
April 18th, 2014, 9:30-5pm, NYC
May 27th, 2014, 9:30-5pm, NYC
New York, NY 10010