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Kids Cook!® is a direct education program designed to encourage children and families to adopt healthier behaviors through hands-on preparation of a variety of nutrient-rich foods paired with daily physical activity. Program activities use an integrated curriculum format that provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Hands-on methods increase acceptance of a variety of foods while modeling healthy food choices.  Additional benefits include improving nutrition, strengthens family ties through shared food preparation and the enjoyment of sitting down to eat together.

Intervention Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time

SNAP-Ed Strategies: Direct Education

Intervention Reach and Adoption

Kids Cook!® targets elementary aged children at schools. Currently, Kids Cook!® is in 14 schools, serving over 6,500 students including special education.

Settings: Schools 

Age/Population Group: Elementary School

Race: All

Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

Kids Cook!® includes the following components:

  • 13 hours of hands-on nutrition education
    • 1 Welcome Class, teaching sanitation and safety, measurement, and an art project
    • 4 Hands-on Cooking Classes
    • 3 Tasting Classes
  • 10 minutes of physical activity incorporated into each lesson

Kids Cook!® involves nutrition educators, teachers, parent volunteers, and students in learning about culturally diverse foods by giving all participants the opportunity to prepare foods that are healthy and appealing. Hands-on methods increase acceptance of nutritious foods while modeling healthy food choices. Kids Cook!® works with students and their families to teach that the preparation of food often takes the same amount of time it takes to eat out.

Intervention Materials

Kids Cook!® offers a World Curriculum featuring recipes from around the world, a US Regional Curriculum featuring recipes from different regions of the US, and a Complete Curriculum featuring both the World and US Regional curricula. Training materials are included with each curriculum.  Additional Kids Cook!® merchandise is available for purchase, including aprons, exercise bands and pens.

Intervention materials can be purchased through the Kids Cook!® website at  

Evidence Summary

An evaluation conducted for Kids Cook!® in 2010 found that

  • 42% of families tried Kids Cook!® recipes at home
  • 76% of parents noticed an increase in their child's fruit and vegetable consumption
  • 83% of parents noticed improvements in their child's kitchen skills
  • 75% of students talked about the importance of regular exercise at home
  • 93% of parents would like to see Kids Cook!® return next year

Evidence Base: Practice-tested

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

 Readiness and Capacity - Short Term (ST)Changes - Medium Term (MT)Effectiveness and Maintenance - Long Term (LT)Population Results (R)
IndividualST1, ST3, ST4MT1, MT3, MT4LT1, LT3, LT4 
Environmental Settings   
Sectors of Influence   
Evaluation Materials

An online Kids Cook!® Graduate survey can be found here:

Success Story
Additional Information

Website: The Kids Cook!® website ( includes information about the program, healthy tips, and the Kids Cook!® curriculum and resources for purchase.

Contact Person:

Sara Robbins, RDN

Executive Director, Kids Cook!

Phone: 505-259-3194


Kids Cook!®



*Updated as of August 4, 2023

Resource Type
Age/Population Group
Intervention Outcome Levels
SNAP-Ed Strategies
Evidence Base