Cook. Eat. Grow.
Cook. Eat. Grow. (CEG for short) is a cooking program we offer to youth. This program typically takes place during the spring summer and fall. Each session last for eight weeks and teaches youth important kitchen, cooking, and life skills!
Our focus had been primarily on our closest elementary schools, each having the highest rates of Free & Reduced Lunch, indicating low-resource and food-insecure families. But we are now expanding to even more schools throughout Fayette County! In this program, we teach youth to cook with fresh ingredients, plan healthy meals, and visit and participate in the local farmers market. In doing this we hope to not only increase access to fresh food but to also create a culture around local, affordable and healthy eating. We use the three pillars of our teaching and processing kitchen as the foundation of these classes.
The Tree Pillars
1. Increasing kitchen confidence
Students will learn the skills necessary to be successful in their own kitchen! Participants will learn the names and uses for different kitchen tools. Our classes will also introduce and help kids to improve their knife skills- holding a knife, chopping, mincing, etc. Students will also learn how to measure for recipes, using the stove top and oven, and different techniques for preparing fruits and vegetables.
2. Exploring food preferences
We love fresh fruits and vegetables and experimenting with different ingredients at FoodChain! This might mean we are cooking with something kids have never tried before or substituting a familiar ingredient for something unfamiliar. Through our cooking classes, students will have the opportunity to use all of their senses to experience food in a way that may be new to them. Experimenting with recipes is always encouraged!
3. Discovering seasonal fruits and veggies
Our focus on local produce in our cooking classes brings attention to the growing seasons for different fruits and vegetables. Participants will learn when tomatoes are freshest and which types of squash to use in November. They will also expand their knowledge of Kentucky agricultural products and how to adjust recipes for the season.