With the COVID-19 pandemic in full-swing, the Project Healthy School team created a weekly, after school virtual culinary class for Farmington middle school students throughout the month of April. The goal of the program was to provide some hands-on learning that reinforced the messages students learned from the PHS lessons. Each week, recipe ingredients and cooking tools for preparing a balanced, nutrient-dense meal were delivered to each of the participating schools. Cooking class demonstrations were filmed at the MHealthy Cooking Studio in Ann Arbor. Students had the option to join a live session and follow along with the instructors live, or they could watch a recording of the session through the Project Healthy Schools YouTube channel.
“We were happily surprised each week when the majority of the students registered for the class attended the live sessions,” said Ben Ransier, PHS Curriculum and Training Coordinator. “Of the 60 students who participated across the four Farmington middle schools, about 40 joined the live session each week to follow along, ask questions, and share some smiles.”
The live and recorded demonstrations were led by Ben Ransier with help from two program interns, Chloe Pawloski and Iraklis Vorias. Across the four classes, students prepared burritos, mango salsa with homemade tortilla chips, ratatouille pasta, falafel and tabbouleh. The classes were a huge success and PHS hopes to continue to reach students in a similar fashion moving forward. One parent summed it up best by saying, “Thank you for providing a medium for cooking healthy. I struggle to get my kid to eat veggies, but she actually ate the ratatouille today, vegetables and all!”
Check out recordings of the cook demonstrations by searching for Project Healthy Schools on YouTube, or clicking here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc-iIGkKIZvijB4yDtnS6XA.