Recipe for Success

Curriculum Review, April 2010 | Go to article overview

Recipe for Success


Recipe for Success (RFS), a nonprofit organization based in Houston, TX, is dedicated to combating childhood obesity by changing the way young people eat.

RFS has several innovative programs aimed at teaching children to appreciate and understand food, all based around their Seed to Plate Nutrition Education[TM] model:

* The Chefs in Schools[TM] program

* Recipe Gardens[TM]

* Grade-specific after school programs, which include: Snacks 101 for kindergarten and 1st graders, Beginning to Cook for 2nd graders, Pasta and Pizza for 3rd graders, Jr. Master Gardening for 4th and 5th graders and Dinner Club for 5th graders. These classes are two hours long and are presented in 9-week rotations.

* Eat This![TM] summer camps, designed to prepare 9-11 year olds to be informed consumers. This is a 120-hour program that teaches young people how food is developed and marketed to the American consumer. Here, students cultivate a summer garden, develop recipes and end the camp experience by marketing and selling their produce.

For Chefs in Schools[TM], RFS has recruited 58 of Houston's finest chefs to volunteer their time to help introduce new, healthy foods into the diets of 4th graders. These chefs work with staff chefs and act as mentors to the young students, visiting and cooking with them once per month.

The chefs have portable cooking carts that can be rolled into classrooms, making demonstrations easy. The very first visit begins with an explanation of the way taste buds work together, and throughout the year the chefs and students work their way through the food pyramid with easy to execute recipes.

Students have opportunities throughout the year to visit the chefs' restaurant kitchens, as well as favorite farms, farmers' markets and grocery stores. This program also features RFS-designed cooking classes for parents.

Often working in tandem with Chefs in Schools[TM], fresh produce from the schools' Recipe Gardens[TM] is frequently featured in classroom lessons to exemplify the Seed to Plate Nutrition Education[TM] concept. …

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