Extension cooks up fun

"Jr Chef” culinary camp in Kincaid

Jr. Chefs Mikell Shoffner (L) and Abigail Cook (R), work together to learn the importance of accurate measuring when creating fruit salsa. (Courtesy of University of Illinois Extension)

KINCAID, Ill. — This summer, University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 in cooperation with INEP Illinois Nutrition Education Program SNAP-ED hosted “Illinois Jr Chef” cooking camp in Kincaid. The camp was held June 12-15 at the American Legion in Kincaid. The free camp was open to children between the ages of 8-12 years. The camp offered kids the opportunity to make their own nutritious meals and get excited about healthy foods, such as whole grains and low fat dairy. The program also showed participants how to add more fruits and vegetables to their daily meals. Students not only learned how to prepare delicious and nutritious meals, but they also became aware of the importance of hand washing and good sanitation practices. Food and kitchen safety are good habits that will stick with them for years to come.

Illinois Jr Chefs is a hands-on, interactive program that youth love. Participants received a certificate and cookbook with recipes they had prepared and important educational handouts to take home and share with their families. Participant, Psymon Dickey, who has been attending the camp for four years, stated, “I hardly ever ate any vegetables, but since coming to the camp I started eating more. I used to hate tomatoes and peppers, but when we added them to the recipes we made here, I love them.”

The camp was coordinated by Jodi Heberling, Christian County Community Worker, SNAP-ED, with assistance from Elizabeth Conrady, Jersey & Macoupin County Community Worker, SNAP-ED. In addition, the American Legion Auxiliary was on hand to help teach lessons and work with participants throughout this camp. The American Legion generously donated use of its facilities for the camp. The program was made possible through a partnership with University of Illinois Extension and INEP Illinois Nutrition Education Program.

University of Illinois Extension provides practical education that help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. For more information visit the Unit 18 website at or contact your local Extension office.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact our office. Universidad de Illinois ofrece igualdad de oportunidades en programas y empleo. Si usted necesita un ajuste razonable para participar en este programa, por favor póngase en contacto con nuestra oficina.

— University of Illinois Extension

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