Beginning in January 2013, CHOP (Cooking-up Healthy Options and Portions) initially started as an afterschool program that was implemented in two middle schools by Ochsner Health System as part of its “Change the Kids, Change the Future” program and through a grant from the Humana Foundation. The goal is for students to translate their nutrition knowledge into tangible skills to make healthy eating a habit, to prepare healthy meals and feel more confident in the kitchen.
Students who participated not only learned valuable cooking skills, but they were able to take part in field trips to a local farm and supermarket that allowed them to see where their food comes from and how to shop for a healthy pantry. Ochsner’s Community Outreach staff also revised and created recipes to show students how they can still eat their favorite foods and be healthy at the same time.
Students also learn:
Basic cooking techniques:
- Knife skills and safety
- Food safety
- Proper measuring and calculations
- Meal planning
- Boiling, simmering, sautéing, and baking
Useful nutrition information:
- The importance of consuming enough fruits and vegetables
- How to lower intakes of fat, sugar, and sodium
- Proper portion control
Ochsner created CHOP-In-A-Box which is a deliverable, easily replicable kit that includes all the supplies and tools necessary for any organization to teach and facilitate the CHOP program. To request a CHOP-In-A-Box Toolkit for your school or community organization, please contact Erin Arceneaux at EArceneaux@ochsner.org or 504-842-5919.