FamilyCook Productions


A sample of Recent Projects involving FamilyCook programs and curricula:


WIC staff try out their skills with the handmade Willow, designed by Puppet Stew co-founder Judy Greengold.Puppet Stew @ WIC

Sixteen WIC clinics across NYC now enjoy targeted enhancements to the new fruit & vegetable package for WIC (Women, Infant and Children Federal Supplemental Nutrition Program) recipients.  Thanks to a new collaboration between Public Health Solutions,  FamilyCook and partner Puppet Treehouse, Puppet Stew arrived at New York City WIC clinics managed by Public Health Solutions in February ’09. The program features Willow Wabbit, our lovable bunny puppet, and she's on a mission to:
1.    inspire young children at WIC clinics to eat more "wabbit food;" and
2.    support WIC moms in their quest to get veggie averse kids to enjoy fruits and veggies, as parents use their new checks to buy fresh or frozen produce.

Watch Willow mesmerize the little ones in Carona, Queens! [Video Coming Soon!]

Eating Smart from the Start

Another valuable partnership begun in 2008 involved Share Our Strength, Operation Frontline, FamilyCook, and FGE Food & Nutrition Team. The target audience and mission: a professional training for child care providers.  In addition to training design, FamilyCook developed delicious Child & Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP) accredited recipes qualifying for federal reimbursement!

Learn more here.

Contact us to learn how you can get a copy of our recipes!


CT Dept. of Public Health “Food & Fitness”

The CT Dept. of Public Health, with support from the Connecticut Cancer Project, funded a project to test the efficacy of 2 selected healthy eating curricula over the 2008-09 school year: FamilyCook’s “Look Who’s Cooking” and Food Is Elementary.  Four schools in the Middletown school district tested the curriculum in grades K-3 in an ‘urban’ setting. Additionally, four schools in four ‘rural’ school districts along the Connecticut shoreline also initiated the program. The project was managed by Community Health Center of Middletown, CT.

From the very successful family nights [Video Coming Soon!], to the children’s reactions to the bunny puppet that communicated nutrition, stories, and encouraged eating bunny food (fruits and veggies) --- the program was very well received indeed, and has been institutionalized into some of the schools beyond the funding period and has spurred new FamilyCook programs in new CT health districts.

Watch for updates and research results for this project in fall 2009 and for our presentation at the Annual Conference of the American  Public Health Association in Philly this November.

Greater Kingsport Family YMCA,  Kingsport, Tennessee Summer Camp ‘09

The Greater Kingsport Family YMCA won a Tennessee state grant to address childhood obesity using FamilyCook Productions “Look Who’s Cooking” after school curriculum during their summer 2009 camp and beyond,  The YMCA grapevine travels far and wide and Kingsport Wellness Director, Kim Ruker, had heard about FamilyCook from anther large-scale implementor of the curriculum: Greater Rochester YMCA, Rochester, NY.

FamilyCook founder Lynn Fredericks conduct training for the staff in May and adapted the program to include mostly cooking of snacks in the summer due to various program constraints. Ms. Ruker reports that the program really helped connect the parents to the Kingsport Y in an important way!

Middle/High School

Urban Assembly Schools: Jr./Teen Iron Chef, NYC

Teen Iron Chef really took off in 2007 when FamilyCook teamed up with Urban Assembly NYC schools.  The intensive training of teaching staff conducted to launch in two UA schools paid off when the results of semester long program @ Urban Assembly School of Music & Art in the 9th grade yielded over 20% improvement in overall dietary quality, download our research report here. The program has mushroomed to incorporate six Urban Assembly schools in the 2009-10 school year, some of which will growi food as UAMA has in the New York Restoration Project Bridge Plaza garden across the street. The project continues to be institutionalized and take on an important and unique role in each UA school community.

HealthCorps Partnership Yields 1st Annual Teen Iron Chef Invitational

In March 2009, our partners at HealthCorps suggested that 10 of their high schools across our city would each send their top 2 Teen Iron Chefs to compete in our 1st Annual Teen Iron Chef Invitational!  This was a spectacular opportunity for students to take their new skills in cooking, public speaking and knowledge about food culture and nutrition to the next level. But what made the event really special, was the fact that the Teen Iron Chefs from the host-school, Urban Assembly School of Music & Art, facilitated as Masters of Ceremonies, and Team Cooking Coaches! 

You can watch this empowering event video here!

Council on the Environment of NYC: Teen Iron Chef Youthmarket Brigade

Since 2007, FamilyCook has assisted CENYC’s Youthmarket project to train youth about the food they are selling in their markets. By 2008, the Brooklyn Urban Assembly School of Music & Art (UAMA) Teen Iron Chefs proved such a talented and formidable group, that they were tapped to present over 20 cooking demos. In 2009, these teens help train the Youthmarket ‘newbies’ to be able to identify the more unusual produce and learn how to cook and eat spicy mustard greens to black radishes!

Watch the students @ the market hear from them what they learned.

Family Cooking

Family Strengthening Birth Parent Reunification = Salvation Army, NYC

The Salvation Army of Greater New York contracts with NYC Administration for Children’s Services to provide services to families within the foster care system. One area of promising application of FamilyCook ‘family strengthening’ curriculum, Cooking Time Is Family Time, are supervised visits and the reunifcation process between birth parents and children in foster care.

The staff at 14th street Salvation Headquarters as well as the Jamaica, Queens outpost report more engaged parental visits with children when cooking is introduced as an activity.


FamilyCook dietician Mercedes Sanches presents a cooking and nutrition workshop to parents in Brooklyn school.PS 219 Brooklyn Health Fair Family Cooking Workshop

June is a month of school celebrations and PS 219 celebrated with a Health Fair and invited FamilyCook to conduct a workshop for parents about healthy snacking for summer break!  FamilyCook dietician, Mercedes Sanches discussed winning strategies for family cooking by sharing our “Snacks ‘n a Snap” list, past of our Simple Secrets of Family Cooking kit for parents. 

Participating parents and children enjoyed making Avocado Crunch with flax seeds, lemon and paprika, and discovered how delicious whole grains can be when, instead of tortilla chips, they enjoyed their avocado snack with Wasa Brod – in rye flavor!  The workshop was such a success, the school is now considering conducting one of the Familycook programs such as The Dinner Party or the after school version of “Look Who’s Cooking” in fall 2009.




NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (NYC DOH/MH) Farmers Market Nutrition Education

FamilyCook developed it’s popular Farm Fresh & Fabulous curriculum for the DOH/MH back in 2005 in partnership with Just Food, to bring healthy food education to new fledgling farmers markets in the food deserts of the South Bronx and Brooklyn. Initially we trained community food educators from the communities where they markets were located. More recently in these challenging times when budgets are being slashed, we have been very successful in training Teen Iron Chefs ‘graduates’ to conduct the program. The youth are an inspiration to children and adults alike. 

NYC SchoolFood “Garden-to-Café”

The UAMA students in Brooklyn partners with New York Restoration Project’s Brdige Plaza garden across the street from their school.  There, they grew a number of crops ideal for showcasing in October for a special Harvest Day in honor of SchoolFood’s new “Garden to Café” program.  The students’ parsley and mint made delicious brown rice ‘taboulleh’ and their basil made copious quantities of pesto for a pasta salad and more.  This fall, their garden project has grown thanks to support from the Citizens Committee for NYC. It now has 6 new earth boxes and a restored permaculture design with installation of new solar panels to power the pump for the large pond equipped with drip irrigation for a self-contained ecosystem!  Watch the students cooking in the garden with their neighbors!






The Chocolate Show

In 2007 the Chocolate Show was looking for a more educational KidZone for their 10th Anniversary.  FamilyCook provided an educational and very fun chocolate experience:
1)  Chocolate thumbprint art
2) Chocolate fondu tasting with NY State apples in an array of ‘colors’ (yellow, green, pink and red)
The result was a huge hit of the show, with parents as intrigued to participate as their young children!  The booth was a colloaboration with the NY State Department of Agriculture & Markets, Red Jacket Orchards and several chocolate brands.