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4-H teens learn to cook healthy meals at Moore Family Center

Moore Family Center Education Program Assistant Kimberly Griffith teaches 4-H teens how to cook healthy, easy meals.

Eating a pinch of broccoli sprouts has as much, if not more, cancer-fighting compounds for your health than an entire head of broccoli – that’s just one lesson high school students in the Multnomah County 4-H Youth Exploring Academics in Health (YEAH!) Camp took away from their tour of the Moore Family Center in July.

Multnomah County 4-H Youth Exploring Academics in Health (YEAH!) Camp teens taste food prepared by Moore Family Center staff. Click here for healthy recipes (pdf)

“Our goal is to help promote and teach people the science of foods and then apply it to their every day lives,” says Moore Family Center Education Program Assistant Kimberly Griffith. “We’re trying to bridge the gap between the science and the application.”

Moore Family Center Endowed Director Emily Ho introduced the science of broccoli, garlic and tea, and the health benefits of phytochemicals to the YEAH! camp teens, who were at OSU for a 3-day health sciences camp.

After taste testing a variety of teas, Kimberly taught the group how to prepare and properly cook different broccoli salads, incorporating sprouts and raw and cooked broccoli. The goal was to introduce a variety of ways to experiment with the healthy crop.

“The taste of something changes depending on how it’s prepared, and that’s especially true with vegetables,” she says. “What I hope they take away is a new willingness to try different foods, and a basic idea of how to prepare them.”

Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health Director Emily Ho teaches the teens about the health benefits of eating foods like broccoli.

“I’ve never really thought about eating healthy or even cooking, but now I know that it’s not that hard to cook healthy meals,” says David Douglas High School senior Vincent Chen. “I like to play sports and be active, and I learned eating healthy goes hand-in-hand with that.”

The healthy eating course was part of the 4-H program’s initiative to introduce teens to a variety of health and health sciences career options and lifestyle changes.

In addition to the Moore Family Center cooking presentation, the group visited the College of Veterinary Medicine, participated in activities with Physical Education Teacher Education Major’s Club, and met with the Nutrition and Dietetics Club.

“The great thing about what’s happening at the Moore Center is that Dr. Ho has both the science and research component, which is supported by data, and Kimberly is teaching the lifestyle component – how to cook,” says Multnomah County 4-H Youth Development Program Coordinator Stacey Sowders. “This experience is something these teens will take away with them, whether thinking about lifestyle changes or considering new career paths.”