MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s something we have to ask ourselves a few times every day: What are we going to eat?

But how much thought do you give it?

A Twin Cities YMCA wants to help kids and their families learn healthy eating habits. And now, this Y has a better way to do it.

At this YMCA in north Minneapolis, these kids are learning about nutrition and cooking. Lessons that will come in handy.

“When I get older, I might not know how to cook and here it’s teaching me how to cook so that when I can get older I can cook things for my elders,” 10-year-old Saryah Harden said.

Harden has been coming to the North Community YMCA for two years. Now, it’s the third Twins Cities YMCA to have a Healthy Living Kitchen.

The goal here is simple: teach kids how to make simple, healthy foods that taste good too.

“Think about it terms of like a cooking class only with a scientific spin,” North Minneapolis YMCA Branch Director Taronda Richardson said.

This will be the hub where K-12 students learn about a healthy diet in a space just for them.

“This place is customized for young people, everything from custom tables that are height-adjustable to the fact that we have very little glass in the facility to ensure it’s safe for young people,” Richardson said.

One of the best ways to learn is by doing.

“I haven’t used a can opener before because my grandma never taught me how to do that, because she said that I might get a little cut and stuff. But now that I’ve learned from the chef I know what I’m doing now,” Harden said.

This healthy eating program isn’t just about making food, but growing it, too. Gardening classes are also on the menu.

And an outdoor space will be the home to a rooftop garden, giving these kids a chance to grow lifelong healthy eating habits.

The Healthy Kitchen program is funded by the Cargill Foundation.

Mike Augustyniak

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