It's not how you'd expect a kid to spend his Saturday morning. But what parent wouldn't love this?
When you were a kid, how’d you spend your Saturday mornings?
What about cooking? For your entire family.
Cooking may not sound like your typical bag of weekend fun, but 11-year-old Evan Robinson just might convince you otherwise.
Seriously. This kid has skills. Watch and learn:
By teaching kids to cook healthy meals, Common Threads encourages children to make and share meals with their families.Posted by Upworthy on Tuesday, October 11, 2016
"When I get older, I want to be a chef," Evan proclaims in the video, and it appears he's well on his way.
Even his parents learn new tricks from him, from basics like properly measuring ingredients to tips for creative and healthful cooking.
How did an 11-year old boy become such a kitchen savant? It all started with an after-school program.
Evan is a student of Common Threads, a nonprofit organization that teaches kids in low-income communities not just why and how to choose healthy foods, but also how to cook them up into beautiful and delicious dishes.
Common Threads is the shared brainchild of celebrity chef Art Smith and artist Jesus Salgueiro, a kind-hearted couple and the adoptive parents of four sibling children who believe that "family and food have the power to nurture and strengthen us, to connect us to culture and community, and to teach and excite us about our world."
Common Threads' mission is to create lasting change in people's lives through the art, fun, and utility of cooking.
And as we can see with Evan and his family, it works.
For the 2016-2017 school year, Quaker is partnering with Common Threads to fund its Family Cooking Classes so the whole family can learn about the importance of nutrition while cooking up some fun memories together.
"I am inspired by the unique impact that Common Threads classes make on the children and families who participate," said Becky Frankiewicz, senior vice president and general manager of Quaker Foods North America, "and look forward to empowering even more children to be agents of change for improving family eating habits."
Researchers have found evidence that highlights the importance of connecting food and family.
A 2014 report by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics notes that families that cook and eat together are more likely to eat healthier. But the benefits of family meals actually go beyond dietary health to also strengthen family bonds.
As Angela Ginn, a diet and nutrition expert with the academy, says in the report: "Beyond preparing the meal itself, we sometimes forget that mealtimes offer time to talk, listen and build family relationships."
The Common Threads model is poised to make a huge impact.
More than 23 million people in the U.S. live in food deserts — areas of extreme poverty with limited access to healthy and affordable food options and with higher rates of health problems linked to poor nutrition, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Common Threads is on the front line of a huge social, public health, and even moral crisis. But you know what makes them especially promising?
While they remind us that changing the world starts with training our minds — which, to be sure, requires effort (sometimes in a kitchen) — they also show us it can still be fun.