CookShop, the federally funded nutrition education program of the Food Bank For New York City, provides children, teens and adults with the knowledge and tools to adopt and enjoy a nutritious diet and active lifestyle on a limited budget.
Through interactive lessons and workshops, CookShop fosters enthusiasm for and consumption of fresh, affordable fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and promotes water consumption over sugar-sweetened beverages and an active lifestyle for all members of the family. The Food Bank provides teachers and other school staff with all of the training, curriculum materials, equipment and support needed to implement a comprehensive, hands-on nutrition education program at no cost to schools.
- CookShop Classroom
CookShop Classroom lessons focus on food exploration and cooking and physical activities to foster children’s appreciation for good nutrition and living an active lifestyle. With distinct components for qualifying public elementary school classrooms (grades K-5) and after-school settings (grades 6-12), CookShop Classroom will reach students in more than 1,800 public elementary school classrooms and after-school programs this year.
- CookShop for Families
CookShop for Families is a complementary program for parents and guardians in elementary schools that participate in CookShop Classroom, with the goal of engaging whole families involved in making healthy food and exercise choices.
Participants complete six monthly workshops focusing on such topics as reading food labels, meal planning, storage tips, portion sizes and being active as part of a healthy lifestyle. Participants also conduct at-home cooking activities with their families. Through simple, healthy recipes using fresh, affordable ingredients, participants gain skills and knowledge to make CookShop part of their families' daily lives.
- CookShop for Teens
CookShop for Teens provides teenage youth with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about what they eat and drink. Through peer-led, interactive workshops in public high schools citywide, CookShop for Teens promotes key nutrition education and physical activity messages to inspire adoption of healthy eating practices. Teenage youth have the opportunity to participate in an internship where they receive training and technical assistance as peer educators, equipping them to connect and engage with their peers during CookShop for Teens workshops.
Bring CookShop, the Food Bank For New York City’s free nutrition education program, to your school!
CookShop, the Food Bank For New York City’s free nutrition education program, is offered to public elementary schools, after-school programs and high schools each school year. If you’d like your school to participate, please encourage your principal or assistant principal to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive more information on upcoming orientation sessions to learn about the program and how to apply.
With curricula designed for students across all these settings and complementary programming for their parents/guardians, CookShop fosters nutrition knowledge and enthusiasm for healthy foods and drinks and living an active lifestyle through hands-on exploration and activities. Fully funded by the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed), all CookShop teachers and leaders receive comprehensive, interactive training and support from Food Bank staff, as well as all of the curriculum materials, food, supplies and equipment needed to implement the program successfully.
This year, CookShop provided over 40,000 students and their families with the knowledge and tools to adopt and enjoy a healthy diet and active lifestyle on a limited budget.
Teacher and Parent Praise for CookShop
"CookShop allowed me to do something that I love (teach) without being restricted to a guideline or rubric. My children learned so much about plants, healthy eating, and the community, improving fine motor skills and sharing with classmates. They also increased their reading, writing and math skills, and are not afraid to experiment, eating different foods. Thanks!"
"Many students tried things they had never eaten before and enjoyed them!"
"My pre-K students were very eager to share in preparing the menu, naming the ingredients, and most of all tasting the food (especially the fruits and leafy vegetables!) The students ate the foods we prepared and asked their moms to prepare the food at home, too."
—Bronx pre-K teacher
"After participating in CookShop at PS 463X, my children now cook with me and have lost weight. My son is 12 and has lost 20 pounds and my daughter has lost 12 pounds. I stopped drinking soda and started making smoothies for breakfast, hearty crudites for snacks and I have lost 45 pounds. Thank you!"
"As a parent of a picky eater, it is very frustrating to try to get your child to eat healthy meals. CookShop has totally transformed my five-year-old's eating habits. He no longer fears trying new foods and now he eats anything from cauliflower to quinoa."
"I was strongly motivated to attend [CookShop for Families workshops], due to the fact that my son’s classroom was actively involved with this special program. At CookShop For Families, I became highly aware that adults need to model healthy habits for their children at all times. For example, enjoying fruit any time of the day!
Making fruit visible and an easy snack or even experimenting with fruit at dinner. I have become more alert about some of the nutritional facts of labels on certain food items. Overall, I have become highly conscientious when shopping at grocery stores, since the CookShop For Families workshops began.
In addition, I have learned that Family meals can be fun. For example, skipping the soda and/or sugary drinks after a healthy meal is important. I have learned that replacing sugary drinks with water or something even called a Fruit Fizzy can decrease the amount of added sugar for our children. Overall, CookShop For Families has inspired members of my family to maintain an active lifestyle with a healthy meal plan and with physical fitness."
—CookShop for Families parent participant