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.
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.
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.
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.
"Starla loved everything about Common Threads. Every time she came home she was so excited and would tell me about what she cooked and the class has inspired her to eat healthier and try new foods" - Mom of Starla, Common Threads student, Common Threads parent
Total Funding Received to Date: $6,580
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $83,420
Total Funding Goal: $90,000
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).