The kids teaching kidsSM program offers children and their parents the knowledge and resources to change their eating habits for the better. In the last 30 years, childhood obesity has more than tripled. Studies reveal that kids are snacking more frequently and research suggests that eating fruits and vegetables may help maintain a healthy body weight. Medical City Children’s Hospital recognized the need to educate children and their parents about healthy eating habits, beginning with eating more fruits and vegetables at snack time.

Medical City Children’s Hospital and the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association have partnered with Texas ProStart® culinary programs in high schools across North Texas, to bring kids teaching kids to fruition.

Medical City Children’s Hospital has registered dietitians that teach culinary students about basic nutrition, how to read food labels and calculate nutrition facts for recipes. The students take that knowledge and stay within the nutrition criteria set by the dietitians and create fun-to-make, fun-to-eat snack recipes featuring fruits and vegetables.

With the help of high school graphic design and photography students, pictures are taken of these recipes and a book is designed that is created by kids, for kids! Medical City Children’s hospital prints and distributes the recipe books to elementary school students across North Texas.

The program doesn’t stop there! Elementary school students are invited to take the “21-Day Challenge.” This is an after-school snacking challenge designed to help students create new, healthier snacking habits. The school districts are getting behind this venture and encouraging their students to participate. Through our data, we see that kids are changing their ways of eating, and chefs are following suit in their ways of preparation. Now, culinary students’ recipes featuring fruits and vegetables are appearing on restaurant menus! This happens by way of the Kids Fit Menu program which is an extension of kids teaching kids, and helps restaurants provide healthful dining options for their family customers.

The 21-Day Challenge @ Work is a direct result of the overwhelming success of our kids’ version of the 21-Day Challenge. Our mission for the 21-Day Challenge @ Work is to educate and encourage adults toward healthier habits starting with eating more fruits and vegetables at snack time. Using the recipes created by high school culinary students, the result is increased energy and productivity in the workplace.

The kids teaching kids program is bringing communities together to help children eat healthier, because, healthful food isn’t just good for you, it tastes good too!