Classes On The Food Revolution Truck Kick Into High Gear!Thu 14 Jul 2011
Story by Chris Styler
Our summer on board the Food Revolution mobile kitchen classroom is off to a fantastic start! The mobile kitchen—in all its fully expanded glory—is settled into new digs at Challengers Boys and Girls Club in South LA. The Food Revolution crew is looking forward to a very active summer of programming.
In early June, while schools in the LA area were still in session, we were fortunate to have nearly 100 eager students from the Lou Dantzler Middle School (located right on premises at Challengers) enroll in Jamie’s five-class course. Judging from the feedback from this first group of students, we have a hit on our hands!
Program Manager Lisa Fontanesi and her crew of chef-instructors led the kids through hands-on classes where they learned to make everything from blueberry pancakes and spaghetti & meatballs to barbecued chicken wraps and chopped salads with homemade dressing. All classes also feature a discussion of nutrition issues focused around that day’s recipes. For example, before the kids measured out the ingredients for their pancakes, they measured out a typical serving of their favorite breakfast cereal and did the simple math to figure out how much sugar went into their breakfast. Most agreed with Lisa that a dose of sugar that big isn’t the best way to get your day off to a healthy start.
The rest of the summer promises even more excitement, with twelve more five-week courses being offered to 8 to 17-year-olds attending camp at Challengers as well as other groups from the South L.A. area.
Other partner groups include Community Coalition, LA Urban League, Brotherhood Crusade, and West Angeles CDC.
The Food Revolution team will take full advantage of the kitchen classroom’s stay at Challengers, with programming running right up until the camp closes on August 19. Special programming during the last week of summer will include classes for students from LA’s Promise that will serve as a finale to other nutrition and wellness programming being offered by that organization over the break.
Emily Ventura, PhD, MPH, working with USC’s Childhood Obesity Research Center, will head up the evaluation of the 5-week course. It is our hope that students who take part in cooking classes and develop the basic skills needed for scratch cooking at home will begin to make healthier choices and eventually reduce their risk for chronic diseases.
From our first experiences, the team is confident that the truck, with its hands-on approach and impressive 4:1 student-teacher ratio, is living up to its promise as the launching pad for future Food Revolutionaries!
About the author: Chris Styler is the Food Team Director
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