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Family Cooking Project teaches healthy eating habits


Students and their families at three schools are learning how to eat
healthy, thanks to the support of local chefs, the Alaska Kidney Foundation
(AKF) and the Anchorage School District (ASD).

The Family Cooking Project, a partnership between ASD and AKF, will teach
healthy recipes to students and their families over the course of the next
three weeks. Approximately 90 families from Northern Lights ABC School and
Spring Hill and Ursa Major elementary schools will attend three cooking
classes this month. The Family Cooking Project is designed to teach families
recipes for quick, easy, delicious and nutritious meals. 

"The goal is to get families cooking together at home to save time, money
and kidneys," said Nancy Edtl, ASD director of Nursing and Health Services.
"We hope that after three weeks of classes together, the families will have
a new repertoire of recipes and a renewed excitement about cooking at home
all while fighting obesity and increasing student achievement. Research
shows a correlation between families eating dinner together and success in

The project is funded by a grant from the Alaska Kidney Foundation and
spearheaded by ASD school nurses in an effort to help prevent kidney

Each participating family will receive a crock pot, a child's cookbook, two
family-friendly cookbooks and a chef's apron for the students.  The cooking
classes will feature a demonstration on how to make the selected family meal
and a taste test of the recipe. Families will then receive the ingredients
to make the meal at home. Participants will also be entered into a weekly
drawing for grocery cards.

"Healthy food means healthy kidneys. Healthy eating leads to lower heart
problems, lower obesity and lower kidney failure rates," said Suzanne
Goodrich of AKF.

The Family Cooking Project will occur at the following schools:

Ursa Major Elementary School, Nurse Nelda Walker and Chef Nancy Alip from
Jens' Restaurant.

Northern Lights ABC School, Nurse Staci Seagle and Chef Reuben Gerber from
Crow's Nest Restaurant.

Spring Hill Elementary School, Nurse Karen Dale and Chef Aaron Schropp from
Glacier Brewhouse.

The first class held at Ursa Major, led by Nurse Walker and Chef Alip,
showed families how to make rosemary chicken with bowtie pasta, roasted
cauliflower and fruit kabobs. The average cost to prepare the meal for four
was approximately $13.
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