Cooking Matters teaches youngsters the importance of eating right
And it tastes good, too.
Amy Thomson
The Lowcountry Food Bank and national anti-hunger nonprofit Share our Strength partnered together to make Cooking Matters: a six-week program to teach children how to eat healthy at home. Thirty elementary students graduated from the program at the YMCA on Cannon Street.
It was easy to see who was in the graduating class — they may have been the shortest in the house, but their chef hats stuck up over everyone’s heads. Pat Walker, CEO of the Lowountry Food Bank, Chef Carter of Carter’s Kitchen, a Share Our Strength ally, and Chuck Scoofield, Chief Development Officer of Share our Strength gave short speeches on the importance of the kid’s degrees, continuing to eat balanced meals at home, and setting the trend for their friends and family in the kitchen.
Next, came the fun part where the recent grads got to put their knowledge to use. They had stations set up where students were making affordable, healthy recipes for their friends and family to try. The six-week program meets for two hours twice a week with local chefs and nutritionists who volunteer their time. There was homemade salsa with multigrain chips where students were learning about knife safety. At the trail mix station an alumni named Travis told us about the importance of eating whole grains and fiber. He and his family had a movie night where he made trail mix with pretzels, Chex, nuts, raisins, and white chocolate for everyone.
There was a nutrition chart station where students could show how to make a balanced meal with plastic food items from every group. And Talayia at the drink table was stressing the importance of keeping serving sizes small and watching the amount of sugar in your drinks. She made a drink for her family at home with watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, and seltzer water, mixed in the blender.
The Lowcountry Food Bank and Share our Strength plan to continue Cooking Matters and teaching the importance and accessibility of eating a healthy balanced meals. Their goal is to have 100 more graduates, both children and adults, by the end of 2012.

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