Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen Program is taking the initiative to help make strides in the right direction to curb the epidemic that is childhood obesity. In more than 200 communities in four different countries, the Junior Leagues provide lessons and demonstrations related to the preparation of healthy meals and snacks in partnership with local community organizations, chefs and nutritionists. The goal of Kids in the Kitchen is to promote child health and wellness by educating youth to make healthy lifestyle choices in the hopes that armed with this knowledge, the youth of today can help prevent obesity and its associated health risks.
Childhood obesity is a raging epidemic in every developed country. According to the CDC approximately 17% of children aging from 2-19 are considered obese, triple the rate from one generation ago. Obese children are at a much higher risk for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and sleep apnea just to name a few. These children also have a higher rate of social and psychological problems that lead to low self-esteem.
The JLDC conducts the Kids in the Kitchen program in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club. They graciously provide the facilities, and kids ages 11-15 years old are encouraged to attend this eight week program. During this eight week program children receive education on healthy eating and lifestyle choices. Past guest speakers of this program have included Chick-fil-a, Carrabbas, Cobb/Douglas Public Health, Douglas County School System, and Douglasville Parks and Recreation Department. Participants are taught how to read recipes, identify kitchen equipment, interpret food labels, staying active, social manners, and the different type of food groups. The Kids in the Kitchen Program strives to provide the best possible recipes and provides an introduction to new foods such as tofu and almond milk to expose them to different healthy nutritional alternatives.
Learn more about AJLI National Kids in the Kitchen here: http://kidsinthekitchen.ajli.org/about-kitk/.