Philadelphia, PA -- Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other reports that childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years, we recognize the importance of reaching our children early to form good food habits. However, with teachers having to incorporate more and more learning standards into their already packed curriculums, where does that leave room for nutrition education in elementary schools? Perhaps by putting it into school subjects like geography and the study of other cultures, math, and science. A study in the November/December 2011 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior shows how the Cooking with Kids program successfully helps students learn school subjects and develop cooking skills.
Cooking with Kids is an experiential food and nutrition education program for elementary school students, based on social learning theory and food acceptance principles (http://www.cookingwithkids.net). Students explore, prepare, and enjoy fresh, affordable foods from diverse cultural traditions. Founder and executive director Lynn Walters and program director Jane Stacey have developed integrated curriculum materials for grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-6. Cooking with Kids also encourages students to treat each other respectfully and to practice the social skills of working together to prepare a meal and then sitting down to eat together.
As part of a larger evaluation of the program, investigators from the Colorado State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition interviewed 178 fourth-graders to determine students' cooking attitudes and experiences at school and home after a series of cooking plus tasting or just tasting classes alone. Their teachers and Cooking with Kids food educators were also interviewed. Students and their teachers who participated in both types of experiential classes described positive experiences with curriculum integ
|Contact: Francesca Costanzo|
Elsevier Health Sciences