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Kids in the Kitchen – Nutrition, Cooking and Fitness Camp provided by Virginia Cooperative Extension

By LAURA REASOR

Associate Extension Agent

Fifteen young chefs, aged seven to 12, completed Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Kids in the Kitchen program in Pulaski County recently. New Associate Extension Agent, Laura Reasor, led the program. This was a three-day camp from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Pulaski.

The chefs expanded their knowledge in the following areas: MyPlate, reading food labels, understanding how their food grows, choosing healthy options and food preparation. The camp emphasized the importance of physical activity as well. Each day was packed with various nutrition games, relay races, and the importance of eating right and exercising for overall health.

Laura had many helpers with Kids in the Kitchen camp. Tori Kegley, Judy Childress, Sarah Burkett and Camille Back all assisted in making it a successful program. The children enjoyed the company of Todd Garwood (Pulaski County Fire Marshal), Mary Cheverton (Pulaski County Public Schools) and Sally Warburton (Library Director at Pulaski County Public Library) as speakers over the course of the week.

The chefs prepared a different full lunch each day. Some meals included baked spaghetti, black-eyed pea salad, baked tilapia, macaroni salad, fresh green beans, individual omelets, yogurt parfaits, and cranberry white chocolate chip cookies.

In comparison of pre- and post-evaluations of the chefs, their confidence improved in being able to prepare fruits and vegetables all by themselves, understanding sugar content in beverages, and choosing whole grain foods. A few comments from the chefs included, “I had the BEST time ever”, and “I never ate eggs before we made the omelets, I loved it!”

Virginia Cooperative Extension would like to thank Pulaski County Public Schools for promoting this program and First United Methodist Church for hosting the program.

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