Cooking Matters hands-on courses empower families with the skills to be self-sufficient in the kitchen. In communities across America, our participants and volunteer instructors come together each week to share lessons and meals with each other.
Courses meet for two hours, once a week for six weeks and are team-taught by a volunteer chef and nutrition educator. Lessons cover meal preparation, grocery shopping, food budgeting and nutrition. Participants practice fundamental food skills, including proper knife techniques, reading ingredient labels, cutting up a whole chicken, and making a healthy meal for a family of four on a $10 budget. Adults and teens take home a bag of groceries after each class so they can practice the recipes taught that day.
Community partners that serve low-income families offer six-week Cooking Matters courses to adults, kids and families. Share Our Strength provides seven specialized curricula that cover nutrition and healthy eating, food preparation, budgeting and shopping. Cooking Matters’ culinary and nutrition volunteers teach these high-quality, cooking-based courses at a variety of community-based agencies—including Head Start centers, housing centers and after-school programs—with neighborhood locations that make it easy for families to attend.
• Cooking Matters para Adults teaches low-income adults how to prepare and shop sensibly for healthy meals on a limited budget. This curriculum is also available in Spanish (as Cooking Matters para Adults).
• Cooking Matters para Padres teaches low-income parents with young children how to prepare and shop sensibly for healthy meals on a limited budget. This curriculum is also available in Spanish (as Cooking Matters para Padres).
• Cooking Matters for Kids teaches children in 3rd through 5th grade how to prepare healthy meals and snacks and to make smart choices wherever they go – at school, at home, at the store, or out to eat.
• Cooking Matters for Teens teaches adolescents in 6th grade and above how to make healthy food choices and prepare healthy meals and snacks for themselves, their families, and their friends.
• Cooking Matters para Familias brings school-aged children and their families together to learn about healthy eating, planning meals as a family, and working together in the kitchen. This curriculum is also available in Spanish (as Cooking Matters para Familias).
• Cooking Matters for Child Care Professionals teaches child care professionals how to prepare healthy meals and create a healthy food environment for the kids in their care.
• Cooking Matters EXTRA for Center-Based Child Care Professionals is a supplement to the Cooking Matters for Child Care Professionals curriculum that focuses on reaching child care professionals working in a center-based versus home-based setting.