Attention Getter: 13.7 million. That’s the approximate number of children and adolescents that were classified as being obese between 2015-2016. According to statistics released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of severe obesity was 13.9% among 2-5-year old’s, 18.4% among 6-11-year old’s, and 20.6% among 12-19-year old’s. (CDC, 2017)
Thesis Statement: While some people argue that there is not enough time in a standard curriculum for a specialized food preparation course, food and nutrition are very important topics for students and society.
Preview of Main Points: In order to understand why cooking classes should be a compulsory subject, I want to elaborate on how: having the knowledge and ability to prepare your own food helps promote a healthy body and healthy lifestyle. Teaching children and adolescents how to cook at a young age can also help to improve math and science skills. Lastly, cooking can play an important role in the development of other essential traits.
As I mentioned earlier, obesity rates in young children are continuing to rise. In fact, those are “the highest rates to ever be documented by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” (National Obesity, n.d.)
While obesity can be the result of many factors, there’s no doubt that poor nutrition fuels the disorder. There are also other health issues that can arise due to inadequate nutrition such as type II diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and even some forms of cancers. Fast food is easy and convenient, I get it.
If you drive up Wilma Rudolph you would pass by nearly every fast food joint in Clarksville, some even twice. Now with companies like uber eats, grubhub, and food of your mood you don’t even have to get in your car because they’ll deliver just about whatever you want. However, by providing children with the knowledge of how to make their own food at a young age, they’re better equip to make healthier choices in the future rather than opt for the pre-made, overly processed foods that have questionable nutritional value.
POP QUIZ! What’s half of 1/2? What’s 3 times 2? While it may seem like I was simply asking you a few math problems, in reality, I was having you adjust a recipe by halving it and doubling it. Teaching basic cookery is a great way to for adolescents to brush up on their math skills because, more often than not there is weighing, measuring, completing conversions such as the ones I just had you do, and tracking time involved.
Cooking also allows you learn about the process involved when thawing, freezing, melting, boiling, and mixing, which are all changes in physical and chemical properties. Insert science. So, as you can see, having a class where you can obtain the practical experience of cooking, is a great tactic to incorporate multiple school subjects into one.
Along with improving skills that are more educational based, learning how to cook can aid in the development of skill sets that are valuable in other areas of life. For example, when you look at the task of reading a recipe, essentially, it’s just a list of instructions, right? So, when you present that task to a child in a food preparation course, they’re learning how to follow instructions.
You can also allow for the students to exercise their creativity by giving them the opportunity to change up a simple recipe. Also, a child can develop a new sense of responsibility and self-accomplishment as well as boosting their confidence when they take what they learned in the classroom and help with preparing meals at home.
To sum things up, there are many reasons as to why we should integrate some form of nutrition and food preparation course to a student’s curriculum. It is crucial that this gets done at a young age because improving the health of future generations is vitally important. Being healthy improves a person’s quality of life and that is a fact.