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.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Common Threads website