Home > Projects > Growing Sustainably: Cooking Matters

Young students in Central San José schools participate in Cooking Matters to learn how to prepare healthy, low-cost meals, and make healthy food choices when cooking, shopping and ordering. This year, the program had extended its lessons to Selma Olinder Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School and Horace Mann Elementary School. Our Project Coordinator, a Public Ally participant, along with the SJSU student facilitators used cooking and meal preparation concepts to educate students on science, technology, engineering, math, reading and writing skills.
Lesson plan topics included science experiments, reading and following recipe measurements, and explanation of nutritional facts on healthy foods. The goals of the Cooking Matters program are to: provide SJSU students with the necessary skills to teach and plan lessons for youth; teach elementary students about nutrition, healthy eating, where their food comes from, and how to connect real-world situations with STEM education; and expose the Public Ally to leadership development, communication skills, and facilitation skills.

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By the Numbers | 2016-17

SJSU students engaged

46 residents engaged

920 hours of service

$22,208 value

Project Impact

63% of participants indicated they now like choosing drinks that are low in sugar, an increase of 48% from the start of the program

89% of participants reported they really like eating fruit now, an increase of 56% from the start of the program

77% of respondents indicated they can now make healthy choices at the grocery store

40% of respondents reported they really like eating vegetables now, an increase of 27% from the start of the program

Community Voices

“Students also did an activity to see how much added sugar is in some commonly consumed beverages. They were shocked to see the several teaspoons of pure sugar that are in one can of Coke.”
–SJSU student facilitator

“Using plain yogurt, bananas, frozen strawberries, and 100% orange juice we made a snack that was high in protein, calcium, and vitamins and low in added sugar. We even managed to squeeze in a serving of vegetables by adding a secret ingredient–spinach.”
–SJSU student facilitator

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