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May 21, 2012
Children attending the Early Care and Education Laboratory Center at Northwest Missouri State University and their parents may be spending more time together in the kitchen this summer thanks to a project completed recently by students in Northwest’s Parenthood Education 3 course.
The students designed and created an interactive cookbook comprised of healthy, quick recipes that parents and children can make together. The 154-page cookbook, titled “Cooking up Memories,” has a scrapbook feel with spaces for parents to write comments about their experiences making the recipe and place photos.
“Even after the children have grown, they can look back and remember making a certain meal,” said Sarah Creason, the course’s instructor. “They can see their picture in there with some little facts about what they made.”
Students in the course annually carry out a project that is related to parent programming and based on a needs inventory given to local parents. At the beginning of the course, Creason presents the results of the survey to her students, who collectively create a project or program to meet a need.
The cookbook was based on parents’ interests in spending quality time with their children and creating nutritious meals with their children’s help. Students gathered feedback from parents during a parenting program focused on nutrition and set goals for the project.
The students worked in seven teams of five students each. In addition to a leadership team, each of the remaining six teams were assigned to create a section of the book: breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, special occasions and “no time” – a category designated for recipes that can be made in less than five minutes. Students were responsible for collecting the information they needed and creating a set of recipes for their section in addition to designing the book.
“It was phenomenal,” Creason said. “They really took the lead on this.”
Recipes appearing in the book include a wrap with peanut butter, banana and granola, and scrambled egg burritos. All recipes consist of natural ingredients and all of them are cited with sources.
Thirty-five students participated in the class, which is offered to upper level students in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. The course includes students from multiple disciplines, including those majoring in child and family studies, family consumer science education and even psychology.
“It’s helpful for them to do project like this because they can pull from their disciplines and work from their strengths, Creason said.
Parents had an opportunity to provide their feedback on the book before it was completed, and most could hardly wait to receive a copy of it, Creason said.
“Several of the students said they felt this project would really make a difference,” Creason added. “They could really apply the class content, the things they learned from the panel and the research on our families’ needs.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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