By Mike Domkbkoski, Communications Intern
One in four Delawareans depend on our network of hunger-relief program partners for emergency food assistance. In addition to meeting the immediate food needs of families, we also work to help educate and inform people about good nutrition through multiple programs. One such program is Kid C.H.E.F.
Kid C.H.E.F. (Cooking Healthy, Easy Food) is a program that teaches kids how to prepare safe, simple meals on their own, while also teaching them information about nutrition and health. The class runs about an hour and the kids work with real food and prepare a meal.
I had the opportunity to sit in on one of these classes in late July and was more than impressed. The Food Bank’s own Scott Schuster taught a group of about ten children how to make healthy and delicious smoothies.
The kids, sporting Kid C.H.E.F. aprons and chef’s hats, followed instructions from Scott in order to prepare a strawberry-banana smoothie. He took them along step by step, but the kids were the ones reading the ingredients out loud and preparing the drink.
Of course, the kids were able to enjoy their delicious creations after completion, but Schuster also had them work on their nutritional workbooks, which featured games and activities promoting healthy foods and taught them about certain fruits and vegetables.
The idea of proper food handling and preparation was also a focus of the class, as all students were required to wear latex gloves and practice proper handling procedures.
Most importantly, the kids were shown that cooking can actually be fun! The kids couldn’t stop smiling both during and after the smoothie preparation. Children enjoyed learning and answering nutrition related questions, felt comfortable preparing their own snack and especially enjoyed getting to partake in the smoothie tasting afterwards.
The program runs all throughout the year. For more information on Kid C.H.E.F., please contact Food Bank of Delaware Community Nutritionist Leah Brown at (302) 292-1305 ext 250 or Scott Schuster at (302) 292-1305 ext 252 (New Castle County) and Community Nutrition Educator Asia Thurston at (302) 393-2013 or firstname.lastname@example.org (Kent and Sussex Counties)