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CookShop

May 08, 2017

CookShop helps low-income children and adults to enjoy a healthy diet and active lifestyle. CookShop teaches nutrition and physical activity to participants. The program also teaches cooking skills and enthusiasm for fresh, affordable fruits, vegetables and whole foods. People learn through hand-on lessons. CookShop empowers communities to fight childhood hunger, obesity, and diet-related disease.

Program Success

Current program feedback:
One teacher stated,
“I really enjoyed that we got to prepare a meal together and experience the process. I feel my students will enjoy and benefit from being a part of cookshop [sic].”

Another teacher stated,
“I will be able to communicate and link with my students through a hands on activity that will transcend to their lives.”

Following the Fruit Unit, a Kindergarten teacher Bronx noted,
“This is my second year doing CookShop and I must say I'd teach CookShop for my remaining years because it will benefit everyone for years to come.”

After the Vegetable CookShop lesson, a 3rd grade teacher shared,
“Students enjoyed the lesson. Students were surprised to learn how different colors of vegetables are beneficial in different ways. Students said they will make an effort to eat more vegetables.”

After the Protein CookShop lesson, a Kindergarten teacher shared,
“The students have learned so much this year. I loved how we were able to add incorporate Cookshop [sic] to our regular curriculum.”

After the fifth CookShop for Families workshop, the program Leader shared,
“Lesson went well. Parents discussed the importance of dairy in preparing meals for their family. They shared tips and pointers with each other about getting their children to eat healthier meals and less fast food.”

Participating in CookShop lead children to have better food preferences, knowledge and less plate waste. The older children also had more confidence about cooking.

Throughout CookShop’s history, several peer-reviewed studies have evaluated the program’s effectiveness. In 1998, Liquori and colleagues found a positive association between participating in CookShop and food preferences, knowledge, and plate waste in both younger and older children. An association was also found between participating in CookShop and behavioral intention in younger children and cooking self-efficacy in older children.

Additionally, in 2003, Quinn and colleagues found that CookShop participants showed a difference in food exposure and willingness to try new foods (although no change was found in participants’ dietary habits).

Type of Program

Direct nutrition education

Target Audience

Pre-kindergarten through 5th grade elementary school students, students ages 6-12 in after-school programming, parents and caregivers

Years of Implementation

1994-present

Number of Participants

Over 50,000 each year

Program Evaluation

Currently Food Bank For New York City is working with Altarum Institute to conduct a process evaluation to examine the factors related to successful implementation of the program, as well as an outcome evaluation to examine the extent to which the program improves healthy behaviors in participants.


This post was submitted by the Food Bank for New York City, an implementing agency of SNAP-Ed. For more information, please contact Zac Hall.