Warning: If your kids favorite food group is veggies, then you might want to ignore this piece.
For the rest of us who have the age-old dinnertime struggle of coaxing our kids to at least smell their salad servings on their plates, hope is in sight.
Kids often hear from us parents that veggies are good for them — But who listens to parents anyway? Cue in “So uncool” followed by eye rolls! Now what if schools actually adopted cooking classes as part of their curriculum?
School kitchen gardens have grown in popularity, thanks to Mrs. Obama’s encouragement. But very little emphasis is put into actually eating healthy. This difficulty is further compounded by the lack of elementary or middle schools having kitchens designed into the existing structure, either due to lack of space or funding.
Enter Charlie Cart, a low-cost, compact, mobile kitchen smartly designed with equipment, lessons and training to get kids cooking in schools. Wheel this kitchen from classroom to classroom. Or, hey, even outdoors!
According to research, kids who hate green veggies have actually been found to enjoy it more after they’ve cooked it in a cooking class. Such learn-by-play healthy food habit lessons are vital especially in this day and age of childhood obesity and diabetes. It also does not help when schools serve lunches with pizza and chicken nuggets. So, cooking classes using the Charlie Cart not only helps kids learn cooking techniques, but also empowers them to make informed decisions about their food choices. Additionally cooking is also a cooler way for kids to learn more about maths, science, culture or history.
The all-inclusive cooking cart is the brainchild of Brian Dougherty from Celery Design Collaborative, who co-designed it with Carolyn Federman, a teacher from the Edible Schoolyard Project, an “edible education” program that first started at a middle school in Berkeley, California.
According to Dougherty, “If you ask how you make a big impact on a kid’s life in terms of nutrition and their relationship with food, part of it is understanding where food comes from—i.e. gardens—and the other part is understanding what you do with food—i.e. cooking.” (image via Shutterstock)