Kids in the Kitchen program focuses on healthy eating

Mar. 10, 2014 @ 03:45 PM

A children’s program taking place this weekend will help youngsters learn the benefits of healthy eating and exercise.
“Our goal is to encourage and empower children to make healthy decisions through proper nutrition, exercise and good hygiene in their everyday lives,” said Heather Watson, chairwoman of the Junior League of High Point’s ninth annual Kids in the Kitchen program, an education initiative on childhood obesity and nutrition.
Open to children in kindergarten through fifth grade, Kids in the Kitchen will be held Saturday, from 10 a.m. until noon, at Millis Regional Health Education Center.
“This is something that was started (in 2006) by the Association of Junior Leagues International, and individual Junior League chapters hold events every year,” explained Catherine Stokely, communications chairwoman for the local Junior League. “...The goal behind it is to eliminate or at least cut down on the child obesity rate that we’re seeing across the country.”
Kids in the Kitchen, which is free but requires registration by Wednesday, will incorporate three stations into the children’s morning activities:
•Food safety, hygiene tips and preparation of nutritious snacks.
•Activities in the Millis Center’s Wellness Discovery room.
•Reading, dancing and singing with “Charles the Chef” creators Roosevelt Pitt and Mshindo Kuumba.
“Different Junior League members volunteer at each station to guide the children along,” Stokely said. “They’ll go from station to station and learn about healthy living, proper nutrition and exercise. They have fun activities at each station while the education is incorporated into the activities.”
According to Stokely, the program has been very successful for the Junior League, annually attracting dozens of children.
Kids in the Kitchen addresses the staggering statistic that approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are obese. This leads to an increased risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and numerous other ailments related to high cholesterol and social problems that affect self-esteem.
Leagues across four countries — the United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom — will continue to involve kids in hands-on activities related to preparation of their own meals and snacks, based on information that shows that kids who help with shopping and meal preparation are more likely to eat healthy foods.
The Association of Junior Leagues International also offers a comprehensive website with materials that interest both kids and parents, including an online recipe collection that features downloadable, kid-friendly, nutritious recipes from celebrities, chefs and athletes. The website is kidsinthekitchen.ajli.org.
For more information, call the Junior League office at 889-5479 or send an email to jlhpkids@gmail.com.
jtomlin@hpe.com | 888-3579

Interested?

The Junior League of High Point’s ninth annual Kids in the Kitchen will be held Saturday, from 10 a.m. until noon, at Millis Regional Health Education Center, 601 N. Elm St.
The event is free and is open to children in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Registration is required by Wednesday.
To register, or for further information, call the Junior League office at 889-5479 or send an email to jlhpkids@gmail.com.