Clackamas Extension collaborates to create virtual Kids in the Kitchen class

Clackamas Kids in the Kitchen sixth-grader, Ren Suo, took this photograph of her Food Hero Cranberry Oatmeal Balls.

In the fall of 2020, Oregon SNAP-Ed, a nutrition education program of the Oregon State University Extension Service, started partnering with Todos Juntos, a nonprofit after-school provider in Clackamas County, to deliver Kids in the Kitchen to middle- and high-school students in Estacada and Sandy. Kids in the Kitchen is a SNAP-Ed nutrition and cooking program developed by University of Missouri Extension that encourages kids to eat healthy meals and snacks by providing them with hands on learning experiences that teach them how to prepare food.

Elena Illescas, an Extension nutrition educator in Clackamas County, has years of experience teaching the class to groups of students at Estacada Middle School. When the experience moved to the virtual classroom, with students preparing the recipes in their home kitchens, the group met with Illescas online weekly to discuss basic nutrition information, learn cooking skills, and share cooking experiences with each other.

Quela Cauich, from Todos Juntos, taught food photography and encouraged students to photograph their dishes. Funds for ingredients were provided by the Providence Healthier Kids, Together effort.

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