Power Up with Omelettes!
B’more Healthy Communities for Kids Youth Leaders Kickoff Cooking Classes in Baltimore Recreation Centers.
Words from Cara Shipley, Research Program Coordinator of the B’More Healthy Communities for Kids Project
On Tuesday November 25, 2014, I was walking into the Ft. Worthington recreation center. Kids have come to recognize me as the “B’More healthy lady.” Our cool youth leaders get to teach the kids, toting along supplies that range from hula hoops and pool noodles to eggs and portable burners. I must say, the youth leaders were pleasantly surprised at how well behaved and focused the kids were, especially compared to other sessions we have done at the same location. There is just something special about connecting with kids through food and involving them in the process using hands on learning.
We saw right before our eyes, kids going from not wanting to try any vegetables to chopping them up with excitement. We then saw them mix in the veggies (the ones they used to despise) with their omelettes and once ready, eating them with pure joy. Our group was so surprised at how well the youth leaders did, leading and teaching the class. The cooking phase of this project is what our youth leaders were most excited for, but had the lowest confidence in this area. Everyone was thrilled with the turnout.
I got to see them gain confidence in their abilities from the beginning to end of the class. Youth leader, Joel Conde said at the end of the session, “We are part of something really huge.” B’More Healthy Communities for Kids (BHCK) youth leaders are college students from Baltimore that have been working to deliver this part of the intervention in seven rec centers throughout the city since July 2014.
BHCK, also known as the Baltimore project or project 2 is a multilevel, multicomponent childhood obesity prevention trial funded through the Global Obesity Prevention Center at Johns Hopkins. We hope to secure funding to continue their work with us on wave two of the intervention. Their job is crucial to connecting and delivering nutrition information to these kids, who may not have anyone in their lives to look up to as a healthy role model. BHCK helps to fill in the learning gap of healthy foods in order to promote healthy lifestyles.