Success StoryTrying New Foods Through Food Preparation



Trying New Foods Through Food Preparation

Author: Ashley Board

Planning Unit: Caldwell County CES

Major Program: Food Preparation and Preservation

Plan of Work: Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Outcome: Initial Outcome

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that individuals consume fruits and vegetables for a variety of reasons, including reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.  Consuming fruits and vegetables during adolescents is important not only for healthy growth, but also because health behaviors may continue into adulthood.  The US Department of Agriculture recommends that adolescents between the ages of 14-18 consume 1.5 – 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 – 3 cups of vegetables per day.   Research shows that youth eat fewer fruits and vegetables than the recommended amounts. 

To introduce alternative ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into daily meals, the Caldwell County Family & Consumer Sciences Agent partnered with the Health teacher at Caldwell County Middle School to offer a series of programs to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  Students learned about MyPlate, ways to increase fruit and vegetable intake, and basic food preparation skills.  Recipes prepared and sampled included: Fru-Shetta, Scrambled eggs, Tortilla Pizzas, Strawberry pancakes, Colorful Quesadillas, and Skillet Enchiladas.  Each recipe contained a healthier twist on the traditional recipe and incorporated a fruit or vegetable. Students were encouraged to try combinations of fruits or vegetables that they had never tried before.

302 students were surveyed following the program, 113 8th graders, 78 7th graders, and 111 6th graders.  85% reported an increase in knowledge of safety in the kitchen,  60% told someone about our cooking program or shared the recipe, 80% plan to make at least one of the recipes at home, and 84% want to learn more about food preparation.   Student comments hear throughout the series included: “I’m Gordon Ramsey!” “This is bussin!” “I’m going to make this at home!”






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