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Teens Learn to Prepare Family Meals

Worried about leaving your tween or teen unsupervised this summer?

Imagine exhausted parents arriving home from work this summer to a nutritious meal competently prepared by their child – their child who has also learned about eating healthy, staying fit and communicating well.  Fit2cook4Kids prepares 11- to 15-year-old students to do just that!

Now in its third year, Fit2cook4Kids teaches children valuable life lessons by uniquely combining social and professional etiquette training with culinary skills and fitness education, under the direction of trained professionals.  

“This program is powerful. You can see the enthusiasm on their faces in the video we posted on our website” says Karen Salvatore, founder of Food and Truth, the nonprofit organization that created Fit2cook4Kids. 

Fit2cook4Kids summer camp is part of a growing model developed in Rhode Island as a solution to the catastrophic epidemic of childhood obesity.  Camps will be held in North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Jamestown, Cranston and Greenville.  Programs will run for eight weeks starting July 2 through Aug. 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Sessions are limited to 14 students.

Tuition is $9.75 per hour for a 40 hour week ($390/week), plus a one-time only registration fee of $20.  Tuition includes a healthy breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack that the campers prepare under the supervision of a professional chef. Parents have the option of funding a tuition rebate of $120 (or whatever amount they wish) which is given to their child on the last day of camp as a reward for productive attendance. This incentive is part of the financial literacy training the campers receive. Campers learn the difference between checking, savings, credit and debit accounts, and are asked to plan a budget based on an income of $120 per week.

Food And Truth has created Fit2cook4Kids with the intent to replicate camps at various host facilities across Rhode Island. The organization will train individuals who have access to kitchen, fitness and computer facilities to run their own Fit2cook4Kids camps. More information can be found at http://www.foodandtruth.org/www.foodandtruth.org.

Contact: Karen Salvatore, 401-294-6800, karen@foodandtruth.org

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Joan Pucino May 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I've been following the growing success of Fit2cook4Kids programs & camps and this is an extraordinary model that should be replicated not only statewide but nationally. Childhood obesity and early onset diabetes are reaching astounding numbers in this country. Food and Truth's educational and hands on Fit2cook4Kids afterschool & camps are an extraordinary contribution. And guess what - the kids who attend love it and the entire family benefits from the nutrition & exercise information learned by the programs' students.
Kerri Hicks May 22, 2012 at 06:43 PM
My son participated in Fit2Cook4Kids during its first season, and it truly changed his relationship with food and exercise. Before he began attending camp, he was a stereotypical 11-year-old child who liked primarily beige food, and was hesitant to try new things. By the end of camp, he was willing to try any food put in front of him without a hassle, and he had a much greater respect for the importance of flavor and nutrition. Since camp, he's been known to enjoy simple things such as salmon, pineapple, and spinach that he'd never touch before, along with more adventurous dishes such as sweetbreads, chicken neck confit, and tea-smoked duck. We have a salad and vegetables with dinner every night, and if he watches TV, he's generally exercising while he's doing it. It's no understatement to say that Fit2Cook4Kids made a huge positive impact on our family.
Paul Marshall May 25, 2012 at 12:24 PM
This is a GREAT program. Great idea. Salvatore is a brilliant innovator. This should be a national program. I've spent a lifetime around inventors and entrepreneurs, and Karen Salvatore is as good as they get!
Govstench May 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Kudos to Karen for this great work.

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