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Kids in the Kitchen Brings Cooking to Life for FDCSD Elementary Students

September 19, 2022

Chef hats, laughter and smiles filled the Cooper Elementary cafeteria as third grade students participated in “Kids in the Kitchen.” Kids in the Kitchen is being implemented in the Fort Dodge Community School District elementary schools by Nick Sells, Taher Chef Director for the FDCSD, to expose students to new foods while learning skills they can put to use in the kitchen.

“We want to offer students the opportunity to try new foods,” Sells said. “By trying new things, they could find a food they love that they didn’t even know existed.”

The third graders each made a small container of Caesar dressing. They learned how to mix properly using their wrists, how to squeeze a lemon and how to listen to directions throughout the demonstration. Many of them said the hardest part was squeezing the fresh lemon into the dressing.

“I feel when children have some ownership in the product they will be proud of it and more willing to give it a try,” Sells said.

Most of the kids tried the dressing and the results were mixed.  One girl said “I didn’t like salad before, but I do know” while another stated, “I’m going to give it to my mom because she likes gross things.” The majority of the kids said it was good or okay.

Sells shared that another goal of Kids in the Kitchen is to expose kids to cooking because it is a life skill they can use throughout their lives.

“We want students to be excited about food and to share that excitement with their families at home,” said Sells. “We sent the recipe for the dressing home with the kids, in hopes they will try to make it with their families, too.”

Sells will present Kids in the Kitchen three times at each elementary school throughout the school year. He worked with the principals to determine which grades and how many students will be involved each time.

“Our Taher staff are excited to be offering these fun activities to our students and are looking forward to a fun year of learning in our cafeterias,” he said.

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