Have you tried a cooking club with the youth in your program? If not, you might want to give it a try. The youth are engaged (at every age level) and love having the opportunity to measure and mix, and of course EAT! Here are several different ways you can get started.
Harvest of the Month: This program is absolutely free. It highlights a fruit or vegetable each month (one that is being harvested), offers a recipe for a taste test and a newsletter in either English or Spanish for you to send home. The recipes are easy to make and if you want, youth can give parents a “taste test” which will further encourage the menu at home to include the fruit or vegetable. You can access their materials at:
My Plate: This federal program encourages youth to understand portions, the variety of foods that should be eaten each day, and offers simple recipes as well. My Plate also has a number of other resources that you can access to support your program. You can access their materials at:
Unless you have access to a kitchen with a range and oven, you can often feel like cooking is beyond what you can do. Remember that there are a number of recipes that you can make that require little or no cooking—and when cooking is required you could get by with an electric skillet. When looking for recipes type no cook recipes for youth in the search bar and you will find a number of websites at your fingertips.
Share pictures of your young chefs with us by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.