Healthy Youth Programs in Corvallis Schools

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Gardener Collecting Lettuce

Just this week First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign announced the Second Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ State Dinner, a nationwide recipe challenge to promote healthy eating for America’s youth. With a contest afoot, and the spring season just around the corner, its a great time to showcase how Corvallis’ own youth are gearing up for a spring season of healthy growing, cooking and eating.

Local youth learns to become healthy youth

With the help of Linus Pauling Institute’s Healthy Youth Program, which offers tools to help local youth and their parents learn about healthy eating, active lifestyles and sustainability, Corvallis youngsters are learning the basics of growing and cooking their very own crops.

The Healthy Youth Program offers Fresh Grown Cooking classes for kids ages 6-12 where they use seasonal produce, whole grains, and low-fat and low-sugar ingredients in all the recipes. The classes teach basic cooking skills, recipe exploration, nutrition and kitchen safety.

The Healthy Youth Program also runs garden projects at two local schools, Lincoln Elementary and Corvallis High.  Just last year the Corvallis High’s “Spartan” Garden harvest included peas, lettuce, broccoli, kale, mixed greens, potatoes, beans and sunflowers.

Candace Russo, the Healthy Youth Program garden manager told the Corvallis Gazette earlier this week that “when food is fresh and you’re personally invested in it, you’re more likely to want to eat it and learn more about it.” She also noted that to her surprise kids actually do love Kale, a veggie that grows in abundance in the valley!

With all the goodness spring brings and with guidance from the Healthy Youth Program, we hope to have the valley represented in the second annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner”  where one winner from each state will be awarded a trip to Washington, D.C., to attend the dinner hosted by Mrs. Obama. So what are we waiting for, let’s get cooking!


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