What's Cooking at SAEC?

Teen Cuisine is designed to teach youth (grades 6-12) important life skills to promote optimal health. The curriculum addresses key concepts about nutrition, food preparation/cooking, food safety, and physical activity by using approaches and strategies that enhance learning and behavior change among teens. Teen Cuisine aims to empower teens to adopt healthier lifestyles by teaching them the knowledge and skills needed to prepare nutritious snacks and meals at home.

Social Worker Laurie Hall who works with the Exceptional Learners Division students says the relationship between WSWHE BOCES and the Washington County Cornell Cooperative Extension has been going on for about fifteen years. She tries to incorporate learning life skills that are also tied with the Boystown system, in particular listening and staying on task. 

“So many of these kids have never used a knife. We sometimes forget that special needs students still need to know the basics. Learning how to be independent is really important,” says Hall.

Dalton Wood from Warrensburg CSD hopes that by learning the basics at school, perhaps his family will let him try cooking at home. He says, “It’s neat, getting to actually cook.”

Morgan Hart from Schuylerville CSD says she likes that she can cook with her friends. She took the course last year. So this time around she is seen as a leader to her peers. She says, “it's fun. I think it’s good for students because some haven’t done it before and it teaches them that they can do it themselves.” 

What’s up next on the menu? Omelets. Nestle says that cooking eggs is a new experience for many of the students, particularly those with sensory issues. Each student has a worksheet to keep track of what they have learned. At the end of the six weeks, they will get a recipe booklet to try their skills at home with their families.  

“Everyone is smiling,” says Hall.


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