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Families Cooking Vegetables Together

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Are you a nutrition educator or community organization who is looking for a program to encourage parents and youth to eat vegetables? If so, than the Families Cooking Vegetables Together is for you!

Families Cooking Vegetables Together is a hands-on cooking and nutrition program for parents and their children between the ages of 9 and 12 years old.

By participating in this program, parents and children will work together to:

  • Improve their skills at planning and preparing tasty, health, low-cost meals that include lots of vegetables.
  • Learn about healthy vegetable choices.
  • Cook and share meals with a special focus on vegetables.
  • Practice their new vegetable cooking skills at home.

When taught in its entirety, the program is comprised of six 2-hour classes.

Teach this program

The Families Cooking Vegetables Together program is designed to be led by a team of volunteers — including chefs, nutritionists, and other community members. They should be trained to help parents and children make smart vegetable choices about their eating, cooking, and vegetable shopping habits.

The following comprehensive resources will equip you to teach this program.

More about this program

This program was adapted from Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters for Families. Here is a brief summary of the adaptations that were made.

  • The six original Cooking Matters for Families lessons focused on a variety of nutrition and health topics, and cooking and meal management skills. These lessons were adapted to focus primarily on purchasing, preparing, and serving vegetables for parents and children 9-12 years of age.
  • Information was added to emphasize affordable vegetable purchasing strategies, vegetable preparation skills, and inclusion of vegetables in family meals.
  • Content that was not primarily vegetable-focused was removed.
  • Each lesson includes a behavioral strategy that parents are asked to implement at home to help children eat more vegetables at meals.
  • The food skills, nutrition education, and family meal components of the lesson introduce and allow for practice of the strategy.

For more information on this program, contact Marla Reicks (mreicks@umn.edu; 612-624-4735).

This project was supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Grant no. 2012-68001-19631 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Program Name: Childhood Obesity Prevention: Integrated Research, Education, and Extension to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Program Code: A2101.

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