Metro Parks food program teaches kids healthy habits

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – In an orderly fashion, children at the Kirkpatrick Community Center are learning the basics of meal preparation.

Lessons cover everything from hygiene to safe knife handling practices.

“We want to equip kids with different variations of healthy vegetables and fruits and that’s what we want to introduce into this program,” said Tiffanie Fletcher, program coordinator for the center.

About 200 students from underserved communities will be able to take advantage of the free classes. Fletcher said the funding comes from the federally sponsored Child and Adult Food Program.

“It’s a funded program and they reimburse us for all the meals we make for our children, but part of the application process is that we have to teach and support children to make these healthier choices,” a- she declared.

For two years, community centers across the city provided free meals to children in after-school programs. Now, in nine community centers, meal preparation classes will also be offered.

“The lessons are of course about healthy eating and also allow children small techniques that they can do at home, when their parents are away, or if they are supervising younger children, or even if they have to prepare meals,” Fletcher said.

The goal of the classes is to teach children how to prepare easy nutritious meals.

“Kids are excited when they arrive to be able to interact and make recipes and cook and then come home and tell parents what they’ve learned,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher said the Metro Parks food program plans to expand and expand to other community centers next year.

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