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Kids, Parents, and Educators Speak Out!

Educators' praise for FamilyCook programs

"My students were all smiles the entire day. Steven has already made the quesadillas for his sister and wants me to make them during a HealthCorps class. What a great way to gently nudge students out of their comfort zone and experience ideas, cultures, and cuisines that were once unbeknown to them. I love to see the learning process extend beyond the classroom!"

-Leslie Dolland,HealthCorps Coordinator, Fordham High School for the Arts, Bronx

"HealthCorps works with Family Cook Production’s Teen Iron Chef program at affiliated high schools throughout the five New York City boroughs. Our students are learning to cook gourmet meals, appreciate fresh produce and are making new friends and having incredible fun in the process. We are committed to supporting such programs as Teen Iron Chef that share the HealthCorps goal to get teens to eat smart, stay active and think positively. We hope to train incoming HealthCorps staff to carry out the cooking classes at every City school."

-Amy Barone, Communications Director, HealthCorps

"Jr./Teen Iron Chef was by far and away the most popular apprenticeship we offered in either semester. I am a true convert to the idea that cooking is an excellent way to encourage the organizational, cooperative and public speaking skills of students. On our campus, many of our most challenging students ended up thriving and serving as leaders throughout their time in the apprenticeship."

- Elizabeth Crawley, Citizens Schools NYC, Star Academy Prep, Harlem, NYC

"This program provides an effective combination of multi-cultural studies and non-sexist domestic education."  Tanya, 3rd Grade Teacher, PS 116

"My students talked more about food and nutrition as a result of this program. I know some of the recipes were made at home as well." Jennifer, 3rd Grade Teacher

"The program was a fabulous supplement to the Native American curriculum and provided memorable references for us in class." Reiko, 4th Grade Teacher

Parents' praise for FamilyCook programs

"This program has given my child broader knowledge of the world around her. As a diabetic child, she has learned to eat healthier foods that this program encourages and has exposed her to."  3rd Grade Parent

"My child has tried foods and actually liked them that I could never get her to try before!"  4th Grade Parent

"A healthy diet is an important part of anybody's life, and it is much better if they learn healthier eating habits at a young age."  3rd Grade Parent

"Not only is the program fun but educational too.  What better way to learn about nutrition and healthy eating than to do it through cooking? I give it an A++ or 10 on a scale of 1-10!"  3rd Grade Parent

"This is a great program. Children seem to be more interested in helping Mommy in the kitchen!"  5th Grade Parent

Kids speak out about FamilyCook programs

One day, I was wandering in the halls after school bored, not knowing what to do. On my way down the hall, I heard laughing, talking and smelled food cooking. I walked into the classroom and stumbled into the HealthCorps Teen Battle Chef team. They were so welcoming, telling me to stay and watch. But before I knew it, I had joined a team and started cooking. I talked to the HealthCorps Coordinator, Ms. Sumaiya Sarwar, and I asked her if I could join the program. She said yes and just like that, I became a regular. Every Tuesday at Laurel High School, we cooked. There were two teams: the Red Team and Blue Team. We would read through recipes, gather ingredients and cook dishes from across the globe. Judges would taste our food and watch our presentations and would pick one team to win. My favorite dish was Shrimp Jambalaya. It was delicious and my team also won that battle.

Through the whole program, my favorite moment was the Teeth Battle Chef Delaware Showdown. We battled Thomas McKean High School in Wilmington, DE in front of First Lady Carla Markell and Chef Dan O’Brien. Both teams cooked chicken pasta with homemade pesto and had to include two secret vegetables. The judges had to determine which dish tasted, looked and was presented the best. Our team won for my dish plating and our skit presentation. We had the judges and crowd laughing. I enjoyed every second of the program. Ms. Sarwar was not only our coordinator, but a teacher, counselor, friend and family member to us. I can’t wait to return again next year and start all over!

- Jhara Ross, Laurel HS, Deleware, Class of 2012

"The Iron Chef experience was truly amazing. I learned how to cook fish, which I never cooked before. I enjoyed it although I do not eat seafood at all, except tuna fish. I got to present my team's work to judges and get out of my comfort zone and gain a lot from it."

-Elizabeth Saunders, 17 yrs old, Fordham HS for the Arts, Bronx

"Cooking class has encouraged me to cook more at home because I learned my way around the kitchen and I like cooking - I think it's nice to cook for others!"  Samiya, 3rd Grade

"My favorite recipe is quinoa breakfast cereal. Cooking classes have changed my mother's cooking. New she lets me cook my favorite cereal."  Shariff, 3rd Grade

"Since we began cooking classes, I've been helping make my breakfast and lunch and my dad's food too."  Alexandra, 3rd Grade

"Last Spring, I decided to do a Teen Iron Chef challenge about water. I chose the water challenge because I've heard about the benefits of drinking water, how it helps you lose weight, increase your energy, removes toxins, and how it gives you healthy beautiful looking skin. I decided to drink water before and after every meal, doing that I learned that sometimes you feel that you are hungry or starving but, you're really not. I liked doing the challenge because it encouraged me to set a higher goal for myself. I challenged myself to stop drinking diet Coke and to instead drink water. My mom decided to support me in my challenge and do it with me -- my brothers too.I believe grown-ups, teens and children should drink water and take this challenge because it really does give you a very good healthy clean feeling."  Camilla, 11th  grade