Educate kids about the joy of cooking,
Empower them to be confident cooks, and
Encourage them to make nutritious food choices.
When kids learn to cook, they learn fundamental life-skills: responsibility, independence, and organization. The development of these key traits leads to positive self-esteem and improved resilience, providing strength and determination to conquer the challenges of life.
Innovative, hands-on, cooking presentations introduce simple food preparation to students of all ages, abilities and socioeconomic levels. Students participate in each step and then sit down and eat a meal together.
Primary School – U Can Cook 2: Students rotate among 4 simple cooking activities including making fruit salad, coloring placemats & learning about different food groups.
Middle School – What’s So Hard About Cooking? : Students rotate among 4 advanced cooking activities including making fruit salad, practicing food IQ & learning about healthy eating and shopping.
High School – Fast Food at Home: Students prepare an entire healthy and delicious meal.
Young Adults – Cooking on Your Own: Participants meet at a grocery store to learn first-hand how to budget shop, then prepare a delicious and healthy meal together.
Every presentation turns into a cooking & tasting party!
The program encourages students to take an active role in grocery shopping and meal preparation by encouraging them to do the following:
- make healthy food choices and prepare simple and nutritious meals;
- assume an active role in family meal planning;
- share these concepts with parents and caregivers,
- take pride in their culinary efforts;
- enjoy the benefits of a shared meal; and
- become independent of fast/processed food for daily sustenance.
The focus is on the inherent pleasure of cooking, the importance of healthy food choices, and the benefits of shared meal time. By presenting age-appropriate recipes, Rima and Claudia encourage young cooks to assume an enthusiastic role in the kitchen. Over the past five years, they have experienced positive results of these hands-on cooking demonstrations with over 1,000 students at:
- Schools for the Homeless or in Foster Care,
- Project 1 and Special Education Schools,
- Private Elementary and High Schools, and
- Public Elementary and High Schools.
5 Important Steps When Cooking With Kids
- Invite children to choose the recipe or help plan the meal.
- Explain safety rules for the stove, appliances & sharp utensils.
- Read the recipes and plan cooking steps together.
- Wash your hands before starting to cook.
- Enjoy the experience!
Claudia and Rima, thank you so much for coming out on your own time and sharing the love of cooking in a family environment. It was obvious that you are passionate about cooking and kids, and have the skills and finesse to transfer that passion on to the kids! You did an outstanding job managing some of the inherent chaos that comes with activities for our highly diverse population. Insuring that we all sat together to eat is a great model for how all families/friends/associates should approach a team built meal. The kids, staff, Tod, and I really enjoyed the activity and the meal. Bravo! We look forward to your return. Thanks again for your selfless efforts to serve our local foster youth while residing at the Shelter, and beyond.
Brian Woods, Brian Woods, MFT Director - Mary Graham Children's Shelter
Bravissimo you two. These kids couldn’t have any better instructors or mentors. I know they are looking forward to your return. Thank you for your dedication.
Tod Davis, Tod Davis, Executive Director - Mary Graham Children's Shelter Foundation