Through meaningful public/private partnerships with school leadership, teachers, chefs, coaches, parents and students, Wellness in the Schools creates healthier schools and families. WITS believes that healthy bodies make healthy minds, in order to shape both we provide hands-on programs like Cook for Kids, Green for Kids and Coach for Kids. These programs create healthier meals, healthier environments and opportunities for regular play and fitness activities.
DID YOU KNOW? We spend $147 billion annually on obesity related illnesses in the United States.
In partnership with local Departments of Education, Wellness in the Schools (WITS) operates the Cook for Kids program in public school cafeterias and classrooms to promote healthy eating and combat childhood obesity.
WITS invests in training culinary graduates who work as partners with cafeteria staff in preparing daily scratch-cooked meals and educating families about the importance of eating healthy food. WITS cooks also teach children and their families how to cook healthy, delicious, and affordable recipes featuring whole, unprocessed foods through our WITS Labs, a series of seasonal cooking classes.
As a member of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools planning team, WITS realizes the importance of engaging the culinary community, and partners with local chefs and restaurants who inspire students, lead special events, and act as wellness ambassadors.
Our program within the NYC public school kitchens works to support the implementation of scratch cooking, healthier school lunch recipes and the expansion of salad bars. WITS Cooks work alongside SchoolFood staff in the kitchen, and engage students in conversation around healthy eating, encouraging them to try new foods and menu items.
The Wellness Lab is the component of the Cook for Kids program that takes place in the classroom. Interactive cooking and nutrition demonstrations are incorporated into the school day for children and in some schools supplemental classes are offered during the evening for parents. In the Wellness Lab for children, we introduce children to seasonal produce and have them prepare and taste the produce in a variety of ways: raw, roasted and in a recipe.
WITS BITS are simple and short (20 minute) classroom experiences that focus on teaching children nutrition-based lessons. WITS Cooks bring demonstrations into the classroom to teach students hands-on lessons about healthy food and eating that allow them to learn by seeing, listening, and doing.
Check out what else WITS is up to on their website.