Studies have shown that having confidence in the kitchen leads to fewer fast food meals and more meals as a family to strengthen a healthy lifestyle. A study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior also highlights that young adults with strong cooking skills are more inclined to eat healthy as an adult. This summer, kids are getting to experience food moving from farm-to-table and work on building healthy habits through unique cooking and nutrition classes at Stony Brook Medicine.
Stony Brook Medicine is committed to helping kids gain kitchen experience and learn healthier cooking habits at an early age. This August, 14 kids between the ages of 7 through 10 established healthier cooking habits through learning healthy recipes. On day one of the Healthy Cooking and Baking Classes, kids made hummus and veggie wraps, tabbouleh and fruit smoothies. The three-day series teaches kids how to prepare their own meals and pick produce from the 2,242-square-foot rooftop garden known as Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm. The hospital’s rooftop farm supplies approximately 1,500 pounds of produce per year for patient meal trays and local charities. The program is organized by the Department of Family, Population & Preventive Medicine’s Nutrition Division.
Kids also learned about how food and ingredients are grown; harvested and chose ingredients to prepare healthier food options; tried a variety of fruit and vegetables with the health benefits behind them; and learned proper use of kitchen equipment to prepare meals using ingredients they picked by hand. In addition, each gained a hands-on approach to sustainable methods in farming, such as composting, choosing local foods and water conservation.