Future chefs hone their cooking skills at Fort Valley State

Published By: Russell Boone July 25, 2018

Leah Howard (left) and Sneha Singh (right) mix batter to make blueberry pancakes during the CHEF Camp at Fort Valley State University’s Family Development Center on July 18.

A new generation of chefs learned the basics of food preparation and nutrition during a camp sponsored by Fort Valley State University’s 4-H program and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).

From July 17-19, 17 young people ages 8-13 participated in the Summer CHEF’s Camp at FVSU’s Family Development Center. CHEF is an acronym for Creating Healthy and Enjoyable Foods.

During the three-day camp, students learned about kitchen and food safety techniques, healthy eating and physical activity principles.

“This camp is designed to promote healthy eating among our 4-H’ers and youth in our community,” said Leslie Weaver, FVSU 4-H program coordinator. “We also want them to find new and creative ways to make healthy snacks and expose them to new fruits and vegetables through healthy dishes,” Weaver said.

Weaver said that young people in the 8-13 age group have a tendency to overeat unhealthy snacks which is why the camp focused on them. “Kids like to grab snack cakes, popcorn, chips or the more unhealthy fast option when it comes to food. Sometimes parents may give them the quicker, faster option due to convenience. Hopefully, with this camp, we can help students come up with ways to independently make healthier snacks in a convenient manner,” Weaver said. 

Some of the dishes the young people prepared during the camp included cheese and spinach quesadillas, blueberry pancakes and sautéed vegetables.

Thanks to her mother enrolling her in CHEF Camp, Leah Howard, an 11-year old from Macon, learned how to cook and properly use cooking utensils. Leah said she had fun making quesadillas and plans to help her parents prepare meals at home with the skills she learned in CHEF Camp.

For more information about future CHEF Camps, contact Weaver at (478) 825-6955 (weaverl@fvsu.edu) or Kena Torbert, family life specialist at (478) 825-6573 (torbertk@fvsu.edu).