Have picky eaters at home? Including them in meal planning could be the answer and the Red Doors Community Center can help. Among many new program offerings you can find the “Fresh Chefs: Farm to Table Cooking for Kids” course. Instructor Mendy Fiori will introduce children ages pre-K to fourth grade to a seasonal fruit or vegetable every week, show them how to cook it, and do an educational, related activity.

Teaching children where our food comes from and instilling healthy eating habits at a young age is essential to creating a new generation of adults with positive attitudes toward food. Teaching them about the seasonality of fresh fruits and vegetables will also increase the possibility of having a sustainable future for our children. Increasing intake of whole foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, is vital for disease prevention and overall health. 
Teaching kids how to cook these foods will ensure that they have the skills necessary for this. Cooking is a basic skill that many people do not possess. As we get older, the task can seem increasingly daunting. Starting young can be a great way to instill cooking confidence. 
You’re scared your kids won’t eat artichokes? Getting them involved in the preparation is one way to increase the chances that they will at least try it. They will be proud to show you what they have learned in the kitchen and may even help at home! 
Sometimes foods need to be introduced multiple times before we like them. Don’t give up! Introduce one new thing at a time, like in this class, so your child doesn’t become overwhelmed. Offer the target fruit or veggie with something that they are already like and are familiar with.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with cookie cutters and dips to encourage your kids to try something new.  But don’t force them to eat it. This will create a hostile atmosphere associated with mealtime and we do not want that. Prepare well balanced meals at a regular schedule throughout the day and avoid the temptation to be a short order cook for your child.   
Keep in mind that every child isn’t going to like every fruit and vegetable. That’s why we have so many. Programs like Fresh Chef are a great way to find what they like and focus on that. I might be really devastated if my future kids don’t like asparagus, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Eating and meal preparation should be a positive experience. When we teach our children not only what to eat, but how to eat, we will create future generations with positive relationships to food. 
Starting October 12th, the class will take place on Fridays from 4 – 5:30 pm. The cost is $85 for six sessions. The class will focus on describing the foods with all five senses, the growing process, and safe food safety techniques, all in a fun, safe, and creative environment. 
Red Doors Community Center recently opened its doors beside St. Paul’s By the Sea on 3rd St. in Ocean City, MD.  Along with this program the community center offers, wellness, and creative programs for adults, children, and families. Visit Red Doors on the web.
For more information, check out this ShoreBread article: Enriching the Lives of Ocean City Locals & Visitors at Red Doors.