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 school." 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 disease. 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.