In partnership with My Family Kitchen, UrbanPromise offers cooking classes for middle school students that help classroom nutrition education come to life! Students are equipped with practical skills and challenged to try new foods. They are often pleasantly surprised by what they like.
Part of helping our youth build resilience involves the ability to help them gain competence. This happens in many ways including through the My Family’s Kitchen six-week cooking class for middle schoolers. Our students are gaining valuable life skills by learning about kitchen tools, food prep techniques and cooking meals together. The program also involves sitting at the table and sharing a meal while discussing food prep and finding words to describe the foods they are tasting for the first time. In our first round of cooking classes when students were asked about their favorite food, one student said, “I love candy.” On that day we had ripe cherry tomatoes on the table as the snack. By the end of the class this same student had devoured about half of the basket of tomatoes and shared, “I think I have found my new candy.” She also took a bag of tomatoes home to share with her family because she wanted them to try them too.
On the last day of the My Family Kitchen program, students are able to invite their families to come and have dinner with them. They work hard preparing a family feast for all the families to partake in. After participating in the program, one 8th grader shared, “I realized I love to cook. I want to learn more. My dad and I now cook at home together. He is a chef but I wasn’t really interested until I came here and got in the kitchen and started making stuff. Now one of our favorite things is to cook together and experiment with new things. I even like mushrooms now, they are sooo good. I can’t wait for my dad to come to our last class and see what we cook.”