Common Threads teaches children and families to recognize, choose, and prepare affordable fresh produce, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. Common Threads faces the issue of childhood obesity head on, educating low-income children and their families on the importance of good eating habits and how to make healthy food choices while honoring students' ethnic background. Course curriculum includes recipes for under $15 that can feed a family of four with ingredients that are accessible.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
The current epidemic of childhood obesity disproportionately affects low-income and minority children, with the American Heart Association reporting in 2010 that obese children are at particular risk for developing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, or other health problems that can last throughout adulthood.
How will this project solve this problem?
Common Threads is engaging students who qualify for the Federal free or reduced price lunch program in productive after-school activities during which time they are fed a healthy snack and taught to prepare a complete meal. Common Threads fills a gap during the course of our program for urban children for whom inadequate diets and missed meals are a way of life.
Potential Long Term Impact
Common Threads bases our approach to educating at-risk, low-income children on a three-pronged model: teach, build, and empower. We teach children knowledge and skills of healthy eating and lifestyles; we build children's confidence in the kitchen and beyond, and we empower parents and children to make healthy food choices together. Research-supported by data analyzed by the University of Illinois at Chicago-shows that our model produces skills, knowledge and behavior change.
This project has been retired and is no longer accepting donations.