FamilyCook Productions is a non-profit organization founded in 1995. For over 20 years, FamilyCook has been the pioneering leader, by using the train the trainer model to embed the capacity for effective nutrition education through hands-on cooking in schools, community organizations, on farms and other settings. Our evidence-based and field-tested curricula and programs have been replicated in more than 30 states, over 150 sites and reached over 300,000 adults and youth across the US. Cited by the New York Times for sustained outcomes and impressive weight loss among youth, FamilyCook was selected as the New York State Public Health Association’s 2017 Public Health Leadership awardee.
- Field-tested curriculum
- Professional development for instructors
- Youth Peer educator training certification and continuing education program
- Technical assistance and best practices
- Nutrition and cooking education programs for all ages
- Common measures for collective impact
- Easy-going and flavorful recipes
Our mission is to create a better and healthier population through evidence-based curricula, nutrition programs and hands-on cooking. In this way we are learning the new generations how to become healthy to reduce the risk of overweight and diabetics. Bringing people of all ages together around delicious, affordable fresh food has a positively impact on people’s mental and physical well-being.
What We Do
FamilyCook Productions offers schools, community-based groups, and other organizations a variety of field-tested, evidence-based curricula for Pre-K-12 that teach nutrition through cooking. We inspire parents and children, teens and individuals to approach meals as a cultural adventure and special time for coming together at the table, using recipes bursting with fresh ingredients. We also empower youth to prepare healthful meals and share seasonal meals with friends, family and their community. Since the late 90s, FamilyCook efforts have reached over over 100,000 families across the US. In the fall of 2009, our partnership with HealthCorps, has brought our “Teen Battle Chef” program to over 66 new schools for a total of over 105 programs in 20 states! Our elementary programs are also growing, expanding across the northeast and midatlantic in recent years. Our newly revamped pre-school program, Willow, has been tested with spectacular results in WIC and preschool settings and is now available for training and implementation.
Youth as "Agents of Change"
Since 2007, FamilyCook has directly mentored youth who have completed the core Teen Battle Chef program (or similar culinary program) to share their new cooking skills with their families, friends and others in their community. They teach cooking and promote healthy eating to younger children in after school and summer camps, and conduct cooking demos in farmers markets and other public forums. They simultaneously explore a variety of career opportunities related to food and nutrition. As a result, they become true catalysts in the battle to prevent diet-related chronic diseases nd health disparities among their peers and families and within their communities.
In collaboration with our partners, we embed these programs in schools and ommunities via our unique professional development offerings. These training sessions provide educators, para-professionals, and parents with the necessary skills to conduct our programs and make them available and sustainable. Educators enjoy using cooking to make math science, social studies and more come alive in the classroom! Our seasional recipes burst with the vibrant flavors of farm-fresh ingredients.
Documented Community Impact
In each of our programs, kids bring home healthy recipes, demand fresh food in their communities, demonstrate cooking to their friends and the larger public at demos and develop critical life skills that will carry them through whatever path they take.
Research and Evaluation
Since our inception, FamilyCook has conducted research to evaluate all our programs. Our first published research in a peer-review publication, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, was released in September 2011.
Schools who offer Teen Battle Chef report improved school attendance and engagement and motivation to not only graduate from high school but go on to college!
FamilyCook Productions was created by a visionary leader and food journalist inspired by her own children and challenging life experiences: Lynn Fredericks. FamilyCook has been a leading innovator in the movement to change family dynamics around food, pioneering the notion of ‘family cooking’ and effectively demonstrating how one-pot ethnic recipes will appeal to everyone if they cook it themselves. The scope of FCP leadership is growing beyond addressing nutrition to combat obesity though effective youth development, mentoring adolescents to find their voice as they explore career paths in food and develop life skills.
How We Do It
The FamilyCook Team has developed successful, replicated strategies and curricula for nutrition/culinary education used in schools, community based organizations, farmers' markets, health departments, early childhood and WIC centers across the US. We develop sustainable solutions that build on each other over time, to serve a growing number of community members of all ages. FamilyCook's elementary curriculum was recently selected by the Connecticut State Department of Public Health for testing in that state over the 2008-09 school year. As a result, new Connecticut communities to come on board and strategize with us to implement our programs are being established in a staged sequence with different ages over the coming years, beginning fall 2009.
FamilyCook’s work linking public health and food systems has taken traction in NYC, with development of an interactive farmers’ market nutrition/culinary education program that empowers community residents to become community chefs, instilling new skills around healthy eating in their community. In 2008, the program developed a youth leadership component that employs teens from our Teen Battle Chef program to teach cooking at Farmers’ Markets.
By summer 2011, this youth development component has blossomed to NYC teens conducting more than 75 farmers market demonstrations, workshops and presentations for a host of partner organizations: HealthCorps, Brooklyn Food Conference, Greenmarket, Youthmarket, NYC Food & Fitness Partnership, United Nations Committee on Sustainable Development, and more! The youth have also grown food in local gardens and taught cooking and healthy eating in their community to younger children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities.