Healthy Futures Starting in the Kitchen teaches childcare cooks basic nutrition and how to prepare healthy, delicious foods that appeal to young children. The program is funded by Smart Start of Mecklenburg County and is facilitated by a partnership with Mecklenburg County Health Department and Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) to address childhood obesity.
Since the first pilot program in Summer 2008, 83 cooks from 73 centers have completed Healthy Futures Starting in the Kitchen. Future plans include basic nutrition, menu planning and cost analysis for administrators and continuing education classes for graduates.
Childcare cooks for 3, 4, and 5 star centers and centers in a residence in Mecklenburg County can apply for the program.
About the Class
Child care cooks and administrators attend a 16 hour hands on HFSK program which is held at CPCC Culinary Arts Center. During the 4-week class, child care cooks and administrators learn about nutrition and prepare, then sample the food they create.
Upon completion they receive
- 16 in-service credits hours
- Recipe book with nutrition information
Child care teachers attend a 4 hour HFSK teacher training held at CPCC Culinary Arts Center where they learn about nutrition, new recipes and sample healthy snacks prepared by CPCC chefs.
Upon completion they receive 4 in-service credits hours.
HFSK Networking events are scheduled twice a year to bring together the entire child care community to exchange ideas and best practices related to child care.
We believe on-going interaction is key to making changes that last.
- Each month offers a Yes We Can! best practice challenge (coordinated by Nutrition and Physical Activity Self Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC)).
- Graduates also receive follow-up calls every two months.
- A yearly visit from the program coordinators to encourage them make the small and nutritious changes that will improve the food they serve young children.
Healthy Futures Starting in the Kitchen
is funded by Smart Start of Mecklenburg County.