Happy 2016 to the Cooking Matters Connecticut family!
We closed out 2015 by making a meaningful difference in the lives of a group of students at Clinton Avenue School in New Haven with a six week Cooking Matters for Kids program. It’s always great to see young boys and girls exploring the art of food preparation, tasting, and cooking healthy meals for themselves and their peers.
The program empowered our young participants with knowledge about food and healthy eating. They learned about:
· The importance of having a balanced diet
· How to read a recipe and understand measurements
· How to make quick, easy and delicious meals
· Why reading and understanding food labels is important
The kids were able to learn about and taste unfamiliar foods, including blackberries, fresh garlic, cilantro and red onion. They also learned how to make healthier versions of popular dishes.
Longtime Cooking Matters Connecticut volunteer, Kaushal Vaidya, helped lead an in-class activity called “Sugar Overload” designed to teach the kids how much sugar is in popular fruit juices and sodas. The group measured the amount of sugar in each drink and found that some contained over 20 teaspoons! The visual impact was very effective for helping the kids understand what they were consuming.
After learning the sugar content in these drinks, the kids were taught how to make healthy drinks in class. They made fruit smoothies and a “healthy soda” made from seltzer water, fresh lemons, and a small amount of fruit juice. The kids enjoyed preparing the drinks and were eager to try what they made.
By the end of the program, these kids were more open to tasting different, healthy foods; and had a better understanding of the snacks provided by their school. It was wonderful to see this group of kids become more cognizant about what they are eating, and gain an understanding of the fact that COOKING MATTERS!