A supermarket and nonprofit group are teaming up to show children how to learn about good foods by preparing nutritious meals.
At a ShopRite supermarket in West Hartford, Connecticut, a dozen children assembled in a custom kitchen located between the produce section and check out aisles. Shana Griffen, the on-staff registered dietitian for ShopRite, was guiding them on preparing sweet potato hash. “They are a little bit sweeter than your regular white potato,” she said. “They contain a lot of vitamin A and vitamin C.”
The class at ShopRite is called “Get Cooking!” and is designed for children ages 8 to 11. It is a four week after school program sponsored by West Hartford non profit Growing Great Schools, to foster a culture of wellness for children and their families.
“It really was a grass-roots effort, concerned parents wanting to make change in how our kids are eating in the schools and making sure they have enough physical activity,” explains Susan Kamin, executive director of GGS. “We teach our kids where their food comes from, why it’s good to eat local, seasonal food and how to select foods that are good for their health,” she continued. “Growing Great Schools feels that if we can teach kids early in life how to eat in a healthy way and take care of their bodies, it will put into place lifelong habits that are good for them — physically and emotionally — the rest of their lives.”
The ongoing lessons in healthy food preparation are a strategy for showing children healthy eating habits that enhance how to learn.