In 2005, Gracie and Bob Cavnar launched Recipe for Success – a nonprofit dedicated to combating childhood obesity and prevention by changing the way our kids understand, appreciate and enjoy their food through education.
A chef-inspired curriculum, Recipe for Success has boasted their very own research based curriculum called Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™. The program introduces children to the entire cycle of food along with taste and flavor combinations, techniques, nutrition awareness and skills that will serve them for a lifetime, and empowers them to prepare healthy meals and snacks for themselves. The Recipe for Success curriculum is able to implement the curriculum with help from local chefs, gardeners and more.
A couple of local chefs give their time to empower Houston youth: Antoine Ware of Harold’s Restaurant; Claire Smith of Alice Blue – formerly Shade in the Heights – Canopy, and Woodbar; Ryan Pera of Agricole Hospitality, which operates Coltivare, Eight Row Flint, Revival Market, and are currently working on new concepts for East Downtown.
“The classes incorporate different curriculums with our chefs,” Recipe for Success’ Advancement Manager, Elaine Andino said. “One class the kids might be listening to a chef talk about certain food groups and then cooking with chef. And in another class they could be in the garden. They learn about the products they are using, they cook together, and they eat together.”
The nonprofit also incorporates a challenge called VegOut! Challenge that is a call to action challenge to eat 30 different vegetables in 30 days. The event is celebrated during the month of March in honor of National Nutrition Month, though the challenge can be done at any time of the year. The challenge even has an app. that you can download to your phone to log veggies, get a group challenge going, and keep track of who is on their veggie eating game.
Teaching business savvy is also a part of the program, called farmers marKIDS – students can apply the skills and concepts they’ve learned to sell fresh produce grown in their school, community and home gardens – and learn to promote, advertise and market their product.
From a recent Recipe for Success project, students made Popcorn Fireballs that are sweetened with cranberries and honey, and spiced with cinnamon. These Popcorn Fireballs are currently on sale at Revival Market – made, marketed and packaged by Recipe for Success students.
The program has also planted seeds on a seven acre plot of land at 10401 Scott (at Airport) for their farm, Hope Farm. The farm works to provide affordable produce to the Sunnyside neighborhood and to be a place for community gathering and enrichment. Produce from the farm is also brought in for Farm Shares and all are welcomed to the farm every Saturday to shop their produce from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
To learn more about Recipe for Success and our local chefs’ contributing efforts, visit www.recipe4success.org.