Program Overview

The four-week cooking classes are offered to low-income 4th and 5th graders in some of the Title I-A schools in Deschutes County. The classes are held after school and are taught by qualified Assistance League members and community volunteers.

Why is this Program Important?

• Cooking expands their palates: When a child cooks a new food or dish on their own, they are more likely to eat it, or at least try it.
• Making a meal boosts confidence: When kids can say, “I made it myself,” they feel a sense of accomplishment.
• Following a recipe teaches math: Cooking teaches kids everything from fractions to temperatures to geometry. Is 1/2 cup bigger than 1/4 cup?
• Understanding a recipe improves reading comprehension: Cooking is one of the best ways to show kids that reading offers tangible results.
• The process of cooking food demonstrates chemistry principles: Take, for example, the browning of marshmallows on top of brownies; it’s chemistry at a level that a child can understand.
• Cooking imparts a basic but important life skill: The child will have some basic cooking skills which will be a foundation to grow upon.
• Learning to cook can help build their self-confidence and lay the foundation for healthy eating habits.

What will the Children Learn in Four Sessions?

• Learn basic cooking skills and proper food handling techniques.
• Perform tasks, such as: setting the table, preparing a meal and clean-up.
• Learn proper nutrition though My Plate, the food pyramid and food labels.
• Learn how to use kitchen appliances, cutlery and other kitchen tools.
• Demonstrate good table manners.
• Share their newfound cooking knowledge with family and friends.

Over the course of the program, students prepare a breakfast, a lunch, healthy snacks and a dinner. Each student takes home a cookbook. The cooking sessions have been offered at many elementary schools.