"In 2005, we created Recipe for Success Foundation to translate research into action and change the way our children eat. Many of the finest chefs in town joined my effort and together we took a small step in the war against childhood obesity. Prevention.
In Houston, as in much of the rest of the country, the rates of childhood obesity are staggering. The loss of connection with food and the traditions of the table; reluctance to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and cultural preference for a meat-based diet; and reliance on processed food with a huge carbon footprint are some of the key contributing factors. We knew that creating a successful replicable program in Houston's stressed urban environment could impact the whole country, potentially saving billions in healthcare costs, but more importantly, rescue an entire generation of Americans.
We began in the schools, giving monthly hands-on classes that put children in touch with their food from seed to plate and we made it fun. We started adding gardens and built the program from there to include after-school, summer camp, parent classes and community outreach. Our strategy is powerful. Children are changing their habits and attitudes, surprising themselves by trying and even liking vegetables that they would never even touch before. Parents report that their children now want to help cook and more often reach for the healthier option without prompting.
Nine years and more than 25,000 children later, we have taken our proven Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ program to national scale,making it available to parents and educators across the country with an intensive train-the-trainer certification and curriculum support structure. At the same time we are continue our efforts in Houston to saturate every elementary school campus with our hands-on learning, while we expand our outreach in ways that reflect our mantra that healthy food can be a fun adventure: The annual VegOut! 30 Ways in 30 Days Challenge in March, Farmers MarKIDS Days in October and the Eat It! Food Adventures cookbook series for kids-all available nationwide; the Hope Farms urban ag project and Rolling Green Market in Houston; and a host of contests and tools to build community awareness and passion for change.
We envision a world where healthy eating is the norm and a culture where nutritious food is shared, appreciated and celebrated, and we won't stop until we live in it."