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Teens Cook with Heart

The American Heart Association (AHA) is teaming with Maui chefs to give Lahaina-area students and their families a taste of better eating.

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To encourage healthy eating among youths and their families, the American Heart Association developed the Kids/Teens Cook With Heart program to teach elementary, middle and high school students how to prepare healthful meals as a way to embrace a healthier lifestyle. Youth who are involved in preparing their own meals are more likely to eat nutritious foods, including fruits and vegetables. The program gets kids excited about trying new foods and encourages them to share this passion with their families.

The program boasts a special curriculum designed to align with the Hawaii public schools’ syllabus and embrace the native and traditional foods in Hawaii. The program is supported by some of West Maui’s best-known chefs who volunteer their time, knowledge, passion and local flavors to the classroom. Among the chefs giving their time include: Paris Nabavi Craig Erickson, Elizabeth (Betty) McDonald, Jojo Vasquez, Kaipo Nagata, Riko Bartolome, and Ryan Luckey. The volunteer chefs are coordinated by AHA Project Coordinator and Chef Rob Mason.

The Kids/Teens Cook With Heart program, is being offered in Lahaina area elementary, middle and high schools during the 2018-2019 school year through a generous grant to the AHA by the Saunders Family. The AHA hopes to expand the program to other Maui communities if it can attract additional community funding for the program.

A crowdfunding site to help fund the program’s expansion has been created. Supporters can text MAUIKIDS to 71777 or go to https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/MAUIKIDS.

If you would like to watch an interview about the program recently given by chef Betty McDonald click here.

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