TUCKERMAN, AR (KAIT) – Third grade students receive cooking lessons once a month from the Every Child is Ours Foundation in Tuckerman, Ark. The non-profit mixes lessons about nutrition with a dash of fun. President Jan Paschal says simple recipes show students and their families how easy and affordable it is to avoid sugary snacks.
"We all like sugar, but it's nice to have something that you know doesn't have anything that's not good for you," Paschal said.
Emily Owens describes the surprising amount of sugar in a can of soda as "bad."
"In CocaCola, there's 39, I think, grams in it," the third grade student said." That's a lot of sugar, and we have to watch out."
Owens and her classmates measured out 10 teaspoons of sugar, an equivalent to the 39 grams in soda. The demonstration took place in the Every Child is Ours healthy cooking class Wednesday, but the students learned to make semi-sweet alternatives for snacks. Paschal helped them prepare recipes for fruit smoothies and pineapple carrot muffins.
"The muffins had carrots and pineapple and nuts and raisins," Paschal said, "all the good stuff but not a lot of sugar."
Paschal leads the healthy cooking class once a month. About 70 students spend an hour making and then enjoying some healthy creations in the Home Economics building at Tuckerman High School.
"Cooking should be something we teach, but nutrition should be something that we definitely teach," she added.
Paschal says one in four children in Arkansas are hungry, so she and several volunteers show the students how to stretch a few dollars to make something simple, tasty and nutritious, like Owens' fruit smoothie.
"It was sour, but it was awesome," Owens said.
The non-profit partners with two local grocery stories to get supplies. Students also take home recipes and ingredients to share with their families.