Cooking and food bring people together. Here in Santa Fe, we’ve been encouraged and amazed by the support of so many communities: our local educational community, our culinary and farming communities, our business community, families, friends, and supporters from all walks of life, all of them wanting to make a difference in the nutritional health of children and families. People want to help, and we’ve discovered that most often, all you have to do is ask! Here are some suggestions that we hope you find useful:
Consider inviting a local chef to help out with a cooking class, or demonstrate a simple recipe. Reach out to your local Restaurant Association. Check out the Chefs Move to School website to see if any chefs in your area are looking to get involved. For more information about Cooking with Kids’ work with Santa Fe’s fantastic culinary community, click here!
Local farmers are wonderful guest stars in cooking or tasting classes! Here in Northern New Mexico, the chilly winter months allow farmers a bit more time to visit schools. Our Farmers in the Schools program might give you some ideas to use in your own classroom or school. And get inspired by the National Farm to School Network!
Local grocery stores and businesses are often happy to donate food and supplies for cooking and tasting classes. Cooking with Kids recipes are designed to use inexpensive ingredients and easily obtained cooking utensils. Take a look at our Minestrone sample cooking lesson to get an idea of what you’ll need for a cooking class.
Make sure to ask your students’ family members to come lend a hand with cooking and tasting classes. It’s a great way to get families involved with their child’s education, and you’ll be encouraged by the interest and enthusiasm. One of the wonderful unintended consequences of Cooking with Kids programming is the increase in parental volunteerism in our schools over the years. Parents, grandparents, big brothers and aunties love helping in Cooking with Kids classes.