Kids Get Cooking

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JUNIOR LEAGUE OF PELHAM ANNOUNCES SECOND ANNUAL CHILDHOOD OBESITY AND NUTRITION EDUCATION INITIATIVE, “KIDS IN THE KITCHEN”,WITH EVENTS AT MACMENAMIN’S GRILL AND MT. VERNON’S EDWARD WILLIAMS ELEMENTARY SCHOOLMore Than 230 Leagues Unite to Educate Children on Importance of Eating Well and Staying Healthy as Part of Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen Activities Pelham,New York,April 11, 2008– The Junior League of Pelham participated in their second annualKids in the Kitchen, an education initiative on childhood obesity and nutrition. They join over 230 Leagues from the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI). The JLP held two events this year for the initiative, the first in early February and the most recent took place April 3 atMt.Vernon’sEdwardWilliamsElementary School. The overall goal was to raise awareness and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues.“Considering that women in Junior Leagues across America and in parts of Canada, Great Britain and Mexico are taking on the issue of childhood obesity by engaging kids at a community level, I believe the Junior League will make a critical “healthy” difference in the lives of an upcoming generation,” says JLP president, Cathie Arquilla. “And I’m incredibly proud of the Junior League of Pelham’sKids in the Kitchenprojects, which are impacting kids right here in our own service area.”The first event was held onFebruary 8, 2008 at MacMenamin’sGrill & ChefWorksCookingSchool inNew Rochelle,NY.Over forty Girl Scouts, ages7 to 10 from Pelham and Pelham Manor spent an afternoon learning about healthy eating and preparing meals. MacMenamin’s Grill & ChefWorks donated the food, chefs and space. Chefs taught the scouts about the importance of healthy eating and nutrition and assisted them in preparing chicken with vegetables and rice, and healthy homemade lasagna. The girls had a great time rolling out the pasta in their newKids in the Kitchenaprons! The meals were donated to Mt. Vernon-based Community Service Associates, an outreach program providing breakfast, brown bag lunches and full dinner meals.The second event took placeApril 3, 2008 atEdwardWilliamsElementary School inMount Vernon,NY, for the children of Amazing Afternoons, a program of Westchester Jewish Community Services. The event had 115 children participating in nutrition and fitness workshops focused on encouraging them to choose healthy foods and to exercise as a regular part of their lives. It began with a fun snack, where the children made a face out of fruit, vegetables and cheese all donated by Stop & Shop. This was followed by a fitness workshop where they got moving and grooving with ISSA certified personal trainer, Colleen Walsh of Sun and Moon Fitness. DeCicco Marketplace donated bottles of water for each child. The afternoon ended with a nutrition workshop focusing on the updated food pyramid and how to read nutrition labels, designed by registered dietician, Dimitria Holland. “TheKids in the Kitchenprogram is a very special event for the Edward Williams after school program. The kids learn about nutrition, fitness and giving to others. The Junior League of Pelham does an exceptional job of engaging all of the children and making it a special day,” said Mary Figueroa., director of Amazing Afternoons.Each child in the program was provided an insulatedKids in the Kitchenlunch bag filled with healthy snacks (partially donated by Trader Joe’s and Costco),“The Healthy Way”book donated by Stew Leonard’s, a jump rope and cooking utensil (purchased with the proceeds of a fundraising event at Let’s Dish in Scarsdale, New York) and handouts for the parents.Junior League’sKids in the Kitchen,which launched in 2006, addresses the staggering statistic that nearly one-third of children and adolescents in North andSouth America will be overweight by 2010 and at increased risk of contracting Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, the numerous ailments related to high cholesterol and social problems that affect self-esteem.Based on information that shows that kids who help with shopping and meal preparation are more likely to eat healthy foods, Leagues are involving kids in hands-on activities related to preparation of their own meals and snacks, Junior Leagues also offer a comprehensive website with materials that interest both kids and parents. An online recipe collection features downloadable kid-friendly, nutritious recipes from celebrities, chefs and athletes, as well as an educational interactive game provided by Cartoon Network, the exclusive kids’ media partner ofKids in the Kitchen. Kids and their parents can also access downloadable nutrition and exercise tips, quizzes to test kids on their nutritional knowledge and the USDA’s MyPyramid Blast-Off game, an entertaining way for kids to learn guidelines for daily food consumption and physical activity, tailored to their nutrition and fitness needs. TheKids in the Kitchenwebsite can be found athttp://kidsinthekitchen.ajli.orgor through the Junior League of Pelham’s home page of thousands of children and their families will continue to have the opportunity to enrich their lives and palates with recipes, tips and activities from Junior League members across four countries through theKids in the Kitcheninitiative. The Junior Leagues believe that education and hands-on involvement in healthy meal preparation are the first steps to making a lasting change in our children’s future.  A fun and healthy afternoon snack: make your own fruit, veggie and cheese face.  JLP Members Haley Childs, Dimitria Holland and Kathleen Veteri teaching about the food pyramid.