Through a partnership with Chesterfield Virginia Cooperative Extension, BHC’s Community Social Work has brought the Cooking Matters for Teens program to the young residents of Winchester Greens. Offered in the Community Center, this program consists of six two-hour classes which teach teens how to make healthy food choices, how to create meals and snacks for themselves, and the importance of family mealtime. Virginia Cooperative Extension plans two meals for students to prepare each cooking session and gives step-by-step guides beforehand, while two dietetic interns from MCV provide nutritional instruction prior to the start of each session.
Students are monitored as they cook and receive constructive tips from Virginia Cooperative Extension. Some of the meals prepared by students include homemade vegetable pizza, sweet potato biscuits, fruit salad, and vegetable soup. Many of the students tried and enjoyed zucchini for the first time. After each session, every student takes home a bag of ingredients to replicate the meal for their families.
“Thanks for bringing the program here,” said one of the participating high school juniors. By taking these classes, residents are Winchester Greens are exposed to healthy eating habits and build valuable life skills.
Cooking Matters for Teens is nationally sponsored by the ConAgra Foods Foundation and generously supported by the Walmart Foundation.