Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters , sponsored nationally by the Wal-Mart Foundation, is a groundbreaking nutrition-education program that connects families with food by teaching them how to prepare healthy, tasty meals on a limited budget. Professional chefs and nutritionists volunteer their time and expertise to lead hands-on courses that show adults, teens and kids how to purchase and prepare nutritious foods in healthful, safe and tasty ways. This knowledge can mean the difference between feeding families just for one night, and making sure they never again have to worry about when their next meal will come.
With six specialized nutrition curricula, Cooking Matters takes a cooking-centered approach to nutrition and household budgeting. Each class includes hands-on meal preparation led by a chef who teaches participants that cooking healthy foods can be simple, enjoyable, delicious, and affordable. The courses cover basic nutrition, food safety, and food budgeting so that participants are able to plan and prepare low-cost nutritious meals for themselves and their families. In addition, Cooking Matter’s adult participants receive groceries at each class session so that they can practice what they learned at home.
Cooking Matters has different curricula available to its local partners, including:
· Cooking Matters for Adults, offered in English and Spanish, teaches low-income adults about healthy meal preparation and sensible shopping on a limited budget.
Cooking Matters for Parents, offered in English and Spanish, expands on our adults curriculum, teaching parents to get their kids involved in the kitchen as well as proper child nutrition.
· Cooking Matters for Kids teaches children ages 8 to 12 about healthy eating and provides simple recipes children can prepare themselves.
· Cooking Matters for Teens teaches teenagers how to make healthy food choices and prepare healthy meals and snacks.
· Cooking Matters for Families brings school-age children and their families together to learn about healthy eating and the importance of family mealtime.
· Cooking Matters for Child Care Professionals reminds care providers the importance of building healthy habits in early ages.
· Cooking Matters at the Store provides nutrition and budgeting skills through a guided grocery store tour.
The VNA partnered with Share Our Strength in 2003 to bring Cooking Matters to the Omaha Metro Area.