About Teen Cuisine

Teen Cuisine is a 6-lesson series program that offers a hands-on cooking experience for 6th-12th graders. Youth will learn about nutrition, food safety, and physical activity. After completing this curriculum, a teen will be able to:

  • Choose nutrient dense foods and snacks
  • Read food labels to choose healthier foods and snacks in grocery stores and restaurants
  • Understand MyPlate and how to incorporate MyPlate into meal planning
  • Read and follow a recipe, using correct cooking and measuring techniques
  • Use safe food handling practices

A list of each lesson and description can be found below:

Session 1- Eat Smart – This lesson demonstrates the importance of healthy eating patterns using MyPlate and basic cooking skills such as measuring ingredients and reading recipes.

Session 2: You Are What You Eat – Participants will learn to use the Nutrition Facts Label on food packages to make healthy food choices, learn about appropriate portion sizes and common cooking terms.

Session 3: Power Up with Breakfast– Participants will develop strategies to eat a healthy breakfast every day, learn food safety practices, and add more muscle and bone strengthening exercises into their daily life.

Session 4: Find the Fat – Participants will learn how to choose foods and snacks that are low in saturated fat and high in nutrients and will learn about limiting screen time in favor of physical activity.

Session 5: Kick the Sugar Habit – Participants will learn to recognize sources of added sugar and locate them on food labels while setting goals for limiting added sugars in their diet, identify safe cooking temperatures and set goals for incorporating healthy lifestyle changes into daily routines.

Session 6: Snack Attack – Participants will learn to choose nutrient-dense snacks between meals based on the MyPlate principles, review food safety practices, and practice basic knife skills.

At the end of the program, students receive a workbook including healthy recipes that they can share with their families.

Program Components

  • 6 lessons lasting 90 minutes each. Extension Agents will work with individual groups to determine the best time for each group
  • Enhancement items are distributed throughout the session to support the session’s key messages

To host a program, schools will need:

  • Space for cooking and hands-on activities
  • Access to electrical outlets
  • Handwashing sink

Alignment with TEKS

At this time, Teen Cuisine is not aligned with TEKS.

Additional Resources

Interested educators should connect with their local 4-H or Family & Community Health Extension Agent for more information. Find their contact information here: https://counties.agrilife.org/

Find the full program website here: https://ext.vt.edu/4h-youth/healthy-living.html

Evidence supporting Teen Cuisine:

70.4% of participants in Teen Cuisine said they made healthy food choices whenever possible after the program.