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American Heart Association program stages healthy cooking competition for LHS seniors

By Staff | Mar 31, 2016

Students review the mystery ingredients and plan their meal.

LAHAINA – For eight weeks, 15-20 Lahainaluna High School students received hands-on healthful cooking and nutrition education with American Heart Association volunteer Chef Lyndon Honda through the association’s Teens Cook with Heart program.

On March 15 in the LHS gym, the students, working in groups, were mentored by guest volunteer chefs. They were presented with a mystery bag of food ingredients and, with what they learned during their participation in the program, and the help of their chef mentors, prepared a healthful salad, dressing and entree for a panel of judges.

Participating students received Teens Cook With Heart aprons and a recipe book. The winning group received grocery store gift cards.

The American Heart Association noted that childhood obesity has more than tripled over the past 30 years. Being overweight and obese are the result of a caloric imbalance, where too few calories are expended for the amount consumed. Obese youth are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

To curtail the onset of obesity among children, the American Heart Association developed the Kids/Teens Cook With Heart program to teach students how to prepare healthful meals as a way to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Students cut vegetables before preparing their meal.

Studies show that youth who are involved in preparing their own meals are more likely to eat nutritious foods, and more fruits and vegetables.

The program is designed to teach students the basic skills required to prepare their own meals at home, as well as the information they need to make healthier choices.

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved locally, call the AHA’s Maui Division at 244-7185.

The students had to explain their meal choices to the judges.