Since 1993, the Cooking Matters campaign has been teaching parents and caregivers with limited food budgets to shop for and cook healthy meals – building a world where healthy eating choices are available for everyone.
Food skills education--practical education for individuals to purchase and prepare foods that meet their nutrition, budget, and personal needs--can be a lifeline for families struggling with hunger. Every parent wants the best for their child, and many know what foods would be best to serve. But when time or money is limited, parents want reliable ways to feed their kids healthy foods in a hurry. Knowing how to shop more efficiently by using the nutrition facts label and unit pricing, feeling confident about modifying recipes to appeal to picky eaters or to accommodate a missing ingredient, and having a plan for the week’s meals are some of the critical food skills that can ease the burden for many low-income families.
Cooking Matters provides professional-level curricula and instructional materials, training, evaluation and national leadership support, while local program partners provide hands-on, grassroots-level resources, facilitators, program customizations and relationships that are best established on the local level. With our partners, we serve families across the country through:
Hands-on Cooking Courses
Cooking Matters offers multi-session courses for parents, adults, childcare professionals and families. Each lesson is taught by a team of facilitators with expertise in cooking and nutrition and covers meal preparation, grocery shopping, food budgeting and nutrition. During each week of class, participants take home a bag of groceries to practice the skills they learned in class. Learn more about our Cooking Courses.
Interactive Grocery Store Tours
Cooking Matters one-time educational tours provide participants with the skills to shop strategically and choose healthier foods in order to prepare balanced meals. Learn more about our Store Tours.
While families love participating in these in-person food skills education courses and tours, busy schedules, childcare needs, and lack of transportation can prevent some from joining us. Through our android-based app, social media posts, and short videos, we meet busy families where they are, helping them to save time and money. Learn more and download here.
Cooking Matters also offers educational toolkits that build on the proven success of our signature cooking courses and grocery tours. They are available for any individual to use in any community. Check out our Educational Tools.
Thanks to our partnership with Better Kid Care, a streamlined version of Cooking Matters for Child Care Professionals can be accessed for professional development purposes. Once in the Better Kid Care system, click on the lesson title – Cooking Matters for Child Care Professionals: Basics