Article from CCE Schuyler Better Living March/April 2012
Patricia Ann Redihan, Extension Resource Educator
CCESC’s Nutrition Program is planning for a new nutrition education program: Cooking Club for Preschoolers (and their Parents).
This Cooking Club idea is the result of a request from several Head Start parents who, upon graduating from our Eat Smart New York nutrition series, requested a structured opportunity to cook with their preschoolers.
The purpose of this group is to provide an opportunity for young children to learn about, prepare and taste healthy foods in the supportive presence of their parents. The targeted audience is Head Start and WIC families, as well as other low-income families with preschoolers. The Club will meet once/month for 1 and 1/2 hour sessions. A research-based curriculum designed for this age group, Color Me Healthy, will be used to provide hands-on, engaging food experiences. Age-appropriate physical activities will be integrated into the sessions. Preschoolers will make child-friendly recipes such as tiny tacos, counting soup, rainbow tossed salad, sweet potato surprise, hide and seek muffins etc.
The children will have the opportunity to develop assets and skills that include:
• Confidence and self-esteem
• Preliminary math skills
• Pre-reading and beginning reading skills
• Small motor skills, hand-eye coordination
• Food literacy (exposure to new foods, familiarity with
• An awareness and appreciation of cooking and healthy
(Cited recipes and phrases in italics come from Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes, A Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up, by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson, Tricycle Press Printing, 1994)
Parents also have much to gain from these sessions, from an increased appreciation of healthy foods and how to prepare them to learning age-appropriate ways to interact with their young children. Most of all, parents and preschoolers will have fun spending time together as a family and building those so-valuable memories.
An estimated date for launching is March/April 2012. Stay tuned for future updates on our nutrition education program for the youngest chefs in the County! If you are interested in supporting this program with a financial gift or would like to participate please contact us.