Boys & Girls Club program teaches kids healthy cooking, nutrition

Thursday, December 8, 2016
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A nine-week program funded by ABC7 and Aetna teaches healthy cooking, dancing and yoga to help kids learn healthy life skills.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- While Brianna Solorzano whisks eggs, Christian Bonifacio is sauteeing onions. Both are part of the Challengers Boys & Girls Club wellness program where they learn far more than the basics.

"A lot of kids don't have much exposure in the kitchen," said home economics teacher Vicky Fullmore.

Fullmore, who has been teaching home economics at the club for 18 years, notices most kids today need basic life skills, as many parents claim they're too tired too cook.

"Some are even excited to do the dishes. They tell me 'Ms Vicky I don't even do the dishes at home,'" she said.

They do here. The Challengers Boys & Girls Club is the recipient of a grant from Aetna and ABC7 which provided a nine-week program that featured things like yoga, dance and healthy cooking.

At this session, I taught the kids the power of portion control. To learn that it's possible to eat their favorite foods without overdoing it. They made a healthy recipe that turns stuffing into muffins called "stuffins."

"We're giving the kids an opportunity to learn about healthy eating and also combining that with exercising as well," said executive director Corey Dantzler.

Dantzler said his dad started this club in 1968 in a former Von's supermarket that was abandoned after the Watts riots. He wanted kids to have a safe spot to learn and play and felt cooking was important for everyone.

The nine-week program teaches them all aspects of nutrition and fitness, but more importantly they're learning how to journal: What they eat and how they move.

Most heath experts feel journaling is vital to stay on track.

"Hopefully our kids are being honest with themselves. Hope we'll see some changes," said Dantzler.

Cooking, tracking, portion control. And with many fascinated by the camera and microphone, a moment to play reporter.

"My is name is Lania Paris Taylor on ABC7, Eyewitness News," said student Lania Paris Taylor.

She's on her way.