Califonia Bountiful

Kids learn to cook from the ground up

One Sacramento woman has unlocked the secret to getting kids excited about eating healthy.

Every parent knows that getting their son or daughter to eat their fruits and vegetables can be like pulling teeth. But one Sacramento woman has unlocked the secret to getting kids excited about eating healthy. How does she do it? She has them make it themselves.

Personal chef Karla Lacey Minors is preparing for what will undoubtedly be one of her toughest culinary challenges. Her students have come from all over Northern California to experience the finer aspects of the culinary world and to expand their skills in the kitchen. But there's only one little problem--some of them can barely reach the stove! Welcome to Junior Chef Camp, where, over the next week, these kids will learn the importance of eating healthy.

"Junior Chef Camp was really designed to give kids a holistic approach to the food they eat. The number one thing they learn is where their food comes from," Karla said.

During their week-long foray into the culinary world, the kids not only learn about cooking, but about safety skills in the kitchen, proper etiquette and nutrition. And just like school, a field trip was on the agenda: down to the local farmers' market to find out where all that food that they've been cooking with all week originates.

"Anything I can do to introduce the kids to where food come from, I do. Seeing their eyes light up is just incredible. You can't buy those types of moments," Karla said.

"It's very helpful for them to learn that there is a face behind everything that's grown," El Dorado farmer Patrick Hoover said. He is a frequent seller at Sacramento's Downtown Farmers' Market and says he enjoys talking to the kids and seeing their reaction to all of his produce. "Kids are always curious, which is good. We teach them about all the different varieties of squash and cucumbers and they love it."

The week ended with a tough final exam, cooking for some of the toughest food critics in town that day--the campers' own parents. And by the end of the week, the kids are even excited about something thought to be impossible to achieve--eating all the fruits and vegetables off their plates!

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