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Massachusetts Families Deserve Delicious, Healthy Food

Cooking Matters is on a mission to make eating healthier easy and affordable for families everywhere.

Our Programs

Interested in partnering with us? Learn more about our current program offerings and other resources that you can share with parents in your community.

Program Delivery Options

Online

We currently offer online programs through Zoom where one of our staff members facilitates a highly interactive 30- or 60-minute Zoom session. These sessions include cooking demonstrations and are designed to have parents and caregivers sharing their own experiences and expertise. Additionally, we can design sessions that have your clients cooking along with our facilitators. For more information on our online programs, look at our Online Programming Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

In-person

We come to you – to your site’s parent conference room, to your local grocery store, to your staff kitchen – and we lead programs in your community, where partners and participants feel most comfortable. Currently, in-person options are extremely limited, yet we look forward to offering these again in the future.

Program Offerings

These are our program offerings for parents and caregivers

Cooking Matters has nine sessions that can be offered in either 30 or 60 minute lengths. All sessions can be offered on their own or as part of a series.

  • 1
    Kids Say Yes to Fruits & Veggies

    This session will discuss pros and cons of using different forms of fruits and vegetables, how to prepare meals and snacks that help kids eat more fruits and vegetables, and share ideas for helping kids enjoy more fruits and vegetables.

    Additional suggestions for a series:

    Give me ideas for picky eaters!, I need kids involved in these lessons, What should I feed my infant?
  • 2
    Making Recipes Work For You

    This session will discuss how to substitute ingredients in recipes, practice using recipe frameworks, and share meal ideas that allow each family member to choose the toppings or ingredients that they enjoy.

    Additional suggestions for a series:

    I need ideas for healthy recipes (one-time session), I need tips for saving money, Help me save time in the kitchen!, I’d love to connect with other parents
  • 3
    No More Mealtime Madness

    This session will introduce fundamentals of maintaining a basic pantry and discuss ways to involve kids in the meal planning to create more buy-in at mealtime.

    Additional suggestions for a series:

    I need ideas for healthy recipes, Give me ideas for picky eaters! (one-time session), I’d love to connect with other parents (one-time session), What should I feed my infant?
  • 4
    Hack Your Snack

    This session will share tips for saving time when buying and preparing healthy snacks, practice making healthy, homemade snacks, reading food labels, and identifying healthier choices when choosing prepackaged snacks, and practice comparing unit prices to save money.

    Additional suggestions for a series:

    I need ideas for healthy recipes, Give me ideas for picky eaters!, I need kids involved in these lessons, Help me save time in the kitchen!
  • 5
    The Family Kitchen

    This session will prepare caregivers to work together with kids in their care to discuss safe, age-appropriate tasks for kids in the kitchen, practice preparing meals or snacks with child-friendly steps, and make healthy meals and snacks that everyone will enjoy.

    Additional suggestions for a series:

    Give me ideas for picky eaters!, I need kids involved in these lessons, What should I feed my infant?
  • 6
    Money-Saver Alert

    Discuss how to use everything that you have (or have access to), practice using ‘hard to utilize’ ingredients in a variety of recipes, and discuss how to save foods that you can’t use right away and how to limit food waste with children while still introducing new foods.

    Additional suggestions for a series:

    I need tips for saving money, Help me save time in the kitchen!, I’d love to connect with other parents
  • 7
    Drink To Your Health

    This session will discuss how to use everything that you have (or have access to), practice using ‘hard to utilize’ ingredients in a variety of recipes, and discuss how to save foods that you can’t use right away and how to limit food waste with children while still introducing new foods.

    Additional suggestions for a series:

    I need ideas for healthy recipes, I need kids involved in these lessons
  • 8
    Feeding in the First Year

    This session will discuss infant feeding options including the safe introduction of solid foods, different food preparation methods that can be adapted for infants at different developmental stages, and practice preparing age-appropriate infant foods alongside recipes for the whole family.

    Suggestions for a one-time session:

    What should I feed my infant?
  • 9
    Cooking Matters at the Store: Shopping on a Budget

    This session will discuss how to buy fruits and vegetables on a budget, and practice comparing unit prices, reading food labels, and reading ingredient labels to find whole grains. 60 minutes only.

    Additional suggestions for a series:

    I need tips for saving money (one-time session), Help me save time in the kitchen!, I’d love to connect with other parents

These are our program offerings for child care professionals
Online Workshops

Support child care providers to serve nutritious meals and teach healthy eating habits to children in their care. This series of participatory trainings can be tailored to fit the needs of child care providers caring for children in low-income households.

These free trainings are offered through Zoom.

LessonLesson DescriptionDurationCompetencies
Creating Positive Mealtime AttitudesPositive early childhood experiences surrounding food and the social environment are critical for shaping healthy eating behaviors. Child care providers will recognize their role in establishing healthy attitudes and behaviors towards food among the children in their care.2 hourUnderstanding the Growth & Development of Children and Youth
Safe Cooking with ConfidenceChildcare providers learn to safely prepare more scratch-cooked meals for the children in their care. This training includes an overview of food skills and Child and Adult Food Care Program (CACFP) approved recipes.1 hourHealth, Safety and Nutrition
Choosing Healthy Foods for KidsChildcare providers play a crucial role in ensuring that children in their care get the nutrients they need to grow and be healthy. In this training, providers learn to make smart choices about the foods they serve to kids through hands-on nutrition-based activities.2 hourHealth, Safety and Nutrition
Meal AppealEarly childhood is an ideal time to instill an appreciation for consuming a variety of healthy foods. In this training, providers will take part in hands-on activities that will show them various ways to encourage acceptance of healthy foods among children in their care.1 hourHealth, Safety and Nutrition
Menu Management on a BudgetIn this training, providers will discuss menu planning and shopping strategies they can use to make the most of their food dollars.1 hourHealth, Safety and Nutrition
Partnering with ParentsChildren are more likely to learn healthy eating behaviors when they receive similar messages at home, in child care, and in the community. This training provides tips and tools for communicating with parents and staff about best practices for feeding children and how to sustain those practices through healthy food policies.1 hourPartnering with Families and Communities
Cooking Matters at the StoreThis training teaches providers how to get the most nutrition within their budget by engaging them to practice food shopping skills to make healthy and affordable choices at the supermarket.1 hourHealth, Safety and Nutrition
Title
Creating Positive Mealtime Attitudes
Description

Positive early childhood experiences surrounding food and the social environment are critical for shaping healthy eating behaviors. Child care providers will recognize their role in establishing healthy attitudes and behaviors towards food among the children in their care.

Duration
2 hour
Competencies

Understanding the Growth & Development of Children and Youth

Title
Safe Cooking with Confidence
Description

Childcare providers learn to safely prepare more scratch-cooked meals for the children in their care. This training includes an overview of food skills and Child and Adult Food Care Program (CACFP) approved recipes.

Duration
1 hour
Competencies

Health, Safety and Nutrition

Title
Choosing Healthy Foods for Kids
Description

Childcare providers play a crucial role in ensuring that children in their care get the nutrients they need to grow and be healthy. In this training, providers learn to make smart choices about the foods they serve to kids through hands-on nutrition-based activities.

Duration
2 hour
Competencies

Health, Safety and Nutrition

Title
Meal Appeal
Description

Early childhood is an ideal time to instill an appreciation for consuming a variety of healthy foods. In this training, providers will take part in hands-on activities that will show them various ways to encourage acceptance of healthy foods among children in their care.

Duration
1 hour
Competencies

Health, Safety and Nutrition

Title
Menu Management on a Budget
Description

In this training, providers will discuss menu planning and shopping strategies they can use to make the most of their food dollars.

Duration
1 hour
Competencies

Health, Safety and Nutrition

Title
Partnering with Parents
Description

Children are more likely to learn healthy eating behaviors when they receive similar messages at home, in child care, and in the community. This training provides tips and tools for communicating with parents and staff about best practices for feeding children and how to sustain those practices through healthy food policies.

Duration
1 hour
Competencies

Partnering with Families and Communities

Title
Cooking Matters at the Store
Description

This training teaches providers how to get the most nutrition within their budget by engaging them to practice food shopping skills to make healthy and affordable choices at the supermarket.

Duration
1 hour
Competencies

Health, Safety and Nutrition

Parents as Peer Educators

This is a limited pilot program where parent leaders can co-host one of our lessons by sharing experiences, cooking recipes (online only), and creating a welcoming atmosphere. Parent co-hosts receive a $25 gift card for each session. Please let us know if you are interested in learning more about this option.

Six-week Courses – Hopefully Spring 2022

Our current COVID-19 protocols do not allow us to offer our six-week courses. We will add more information about this offering when it becomes available again. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Cooking for Small Children

Belinda is a young mother from Massachusetts caring for her first born – a lively baby girl. As a young parent, Belinda found it difficult, confusing and costly trying to navigate the ins and outs of…

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Adding Veggies to Kid-Friendly Foods

Marie is a hardworking mother with three children ages 13, 4 and 8 months. Like all parents, Marie cares about preparing healthy, affordable, tasty meals for her family. Working long hours and…

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How to Partner with Us

If you are a community organization, we may be able to collaborate with you to bring our programs to your parents and caregivers.

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Who We Are

Through Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters campaign, we run programs with Massachusetts parents and caregivers that cover how to shop for and cook healthy, kid-friendly, and affordable meals.

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