ALTON — Childhood obesity is a raging epidemic in every developed country.
The Junior League of Greater Alton is taking on that problem with Kids in the Kitchen, an event at Alton Memorial Hospital designed to teach elementary school children ages 4-12 how to prepare healthy snacks.
Kids in the Kitchen will again be offered free of charge at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, in the AMH cafeteria meeting rooms. The event provides a hands-on environment that focuses on preparing healthy foods. The goal is to promote child health and wellness by empowering children and youth to make healthy lifestyle choices, therefore preventing obesity and its associated health risks.
Dr. Laura Hill, a pediatrician on staff at AMH and a member of the Junior League of Greater Alton, led a Kids in the Kitchen event last fall. About 30 children, plus parents and grandparents, made some recipes and learned more about the best types of food and beverages.
“In line with the Junior League of Greater Alton’s mission of helping children in our community, the Kids In the Kitchen program is committed to helping families develop healthy food practices and habits,” Hill said. “The kids had a great time both assembling and eating the quick breakfast recipes at this event, and the caregivers gave great feedback about the healthy habits we shared with them. We are looking forward to working with another great group of kids in March, when we focus on preparing healthy snacks.”
The breakfast recipes at the November event included:
• Pancake yogurt breakfast bites, which included Kellogg’s mini-pancakes, a container of strawberry Greek yogurt, strawberries, and sliced honey or maple syrup.
• Happy toast, including a slice of bread “decorated” with peanut butter, banana slices, raisins, blueberries and/or strawberries, and Cheerios.
• Apple sandwiches, including apples that were cored and sliced or sectioned, almond butter (or any nut butter) and Granola.
• Nutella breakfast pizza, which included a package of wheat pizza dough or English muffins, Nutella Hazelnut Spread and assorted fruit.
• Kid Friendly No-Bake Cinnamon Roll-Ups, including a slice of bread, butter and a small amount of cinnamon and sugar.