Spoons Recipe Days is a food and nutrition literacy program for 6-12 year-olds. Taught weekly for 8 weeks, each one-hour session focuses upon a selected theme and recipe that encourages children to explore, prepare and taste healthy foods. Activities are presented in a fun, hands-on manner with opportunities to learn kitchen skills, kitchen science, food origins and more! At the end of each session, children are provided with a recipe to share with their families, as well as sample “conversation starters” to encourage eating together around the table.
In each session, children:
- Discover and explore the elements of taste (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter), and are encouraged to use descriptive words in discussing their observations.
- Taste the individual ingredients in a selected recipe and use their developing vocabulary to share their reactions.
- Learn about the nutritious aspects of these ingredients and any local, seasonal and cultural elements of the dish.
- Prepare and eat the recipe together learning food preparation skills to gain confidence in the kitchen.
Prior to the start of this program, site staff and teachers participate in an intensive hands-on training on Spoons Across America mission, programs, and methodology. Training includes best practices for working with children and young adolescents on food, nutrition, cooking and food programs. Teenage Leaders-in-Training then participate in a pre- program training to orient them to the goals of the program, mission of Spoons Across America, and suggestions for working with young children. Each week, with the support of a SAA Education Specialist, the teenage Leaders in Training learn about the upcoming lesson by participating in a hands-on workshop and are then responsible for teaching the weekly activity to the younger children throughout the week.
This program is currently being implemented at University Settlement’s Cornerstone Program at Campos Plaza Community Center.