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.

Related Content


Volunteers are an essential component of the work that we do with children, helping out in the classroom but also providing a mentoring role for children.

Spoons Recipe Days

“Graduates” of our third grade program Take a Taste with Spoons continue their learning, exploration of food, and healthy eating in Spoons Recipe Days: a year-long program for 4th graders.

Spoons’ Salad Days

Adaptable to a variety of fresh, local and healthy salad ingredients, the overall goals are to expand ones tastes and celebrate fresh, local, and seasonal food.

Take-A-Taste with Spoons

After children have participated in Farm to Book and experienced a year-long exploration of food origins and taste, they are ready for Take a Taste with Spoons.

The Dinner Party Project®

After completing 3 years of Spoons Across America’s programming, 5th grade children are ready for The Dinner Party Project.

Agriculture Literacy Week

Spoons Across America manages Cornell Cooperative Extension’s New York Agriculture Literacy Week for New York City classrooms.

Farm to Book

Spoons Across America’s core curriculum begins in the 2nd grade with Farm to Book.

Get Involved

There are many ways to support the work we do. Please join us in our mission to educate children, teachers and families about the benefits of healthy eating.

Our Programs

SAA develops and supports food and nutrition based educational programs which encourage children to become independent and inquisitive food explorers.