Our Students Keep on Cooking

The Center for Food & Environment at Teachers College Columbia University and the Harlem Health Promotion teamed up with The Kids Cook Monday initiative to launch The Kids Cook Monday Pilot– a weekly community cooking class for families. The program was designed to bring a select group of families together every Monday night to learn how to cook healthy, inexpensive and delicious meals. While preparing to launch the program, Executive Director Pam Koch was optimistic, “I believe this pilot program will provide families with enthusiasm and motivation to cook as a family – while teaching practical skills to shop for healthful foods, prepare recipes together, and make mealtime quality family time.”

Surveys evaluating The Kids Cook Monday Pilot found that the program successfully encouraged families to cook healthy dinners together. 55% of parents were so impressed with the healthy recipes that the families planned to cook them again at home, particularly the program’s most popular recipe: Black Bean Burgers. Parents trusted their kids more in the kitchen after participating and 73% of kids surveyed said they wanted to be involved in their family’s future meal preparations. Parents acknowledged this newfound enthusiasm, agreeing that their kids were more likely to eat dinner if they had a hand in making it.

91% of parents said that the friends they spoke with would gladly join a future The Kids Cook Monday program. The Harlem Health Promotion plans to continue the program this Spring, debuting new The Kids Cook Monday classes, as well as a free curriculum that any community can take, tweak and launch in other areas. Look out for the next round of The Kids Cook Monday classes, coming soon to a community near you.

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