110 Harlem Students Don Chef Hats and Learn to Prepare Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes with Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., as Part of Ongoing Public Health Initiative with Touro College
Director of Communications
Touro’s Project Aspire Encourages Students to Explore Health Careers.
New York, N.Y. – More than 100 excited students at P.S. 197 in Harlem, grades pre-kindergarten to first grade, donned white chef toques and lab coats as they learned about healthy vegetables and how to prepare healthy Thanksgiving recipes including cranberry sauce, green beans, and yams from the award-winning leader in the field of natural health - Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., founder and CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City.
The students tasted cranberry sauce, green beans with sliced almonds, and raw and cooked yams before they returned to their classrooms for a lesson plan that reinforced what they learned about healthy eating. After school the students were sent home with recipes to share with their families as Thanksgiving approaches.
The students participated for the second year in Project Aspire, a public health initiative of the Children’s Health Education Foundation at Touro College. Project Aspire brings real-life, interactive health education lessons and demonstrations into schools to encourage students to lead healthy lifestyles and to explore health careers, including becoming doctors.
“This is a wonderful example of the partnership between Touro College’s Project Aspire and the Natural Gourmet Institute that supports our public health initiatives at P.S. 197. We are proud to have such a phenomenal sponsor,” said Nicholas A. Aiello, Ph.D., education director for Touro College’s Project Aspire. “With their hands-on food experience led by Natural Gourmet Institute-trained chefs, the children can now bring this new knowledge and recipes home to their families.”
“I believe everyone should learn about healthy eating from the time they’re small. In many families they know how to eat right, but they conform to the fast-food culture in America,” said Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., founder and CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute. “What we try to do is get people connected with real food, not processed food. Most of the children are willing to try the vegetables even if they’re not sure they will like them. Will it carry through to the home? By taking recipes home, the parents can see more clearly what the children were taught in school. We’re thrilled that Touro College and P.S. 197 initiated this program.”
After every visit from Touro College’s Project Aspire team, the students continue learning about health and nutrition in the classroom, from curriculum created in partnership by Project Aspire staff, P.S. 197 educators, and faculty from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, recently opened in Harlem. The curriculum is consistent with New York state performance standards in science, mathematics, English language arts, art, health, and physical education. The lesson plan is designed to reinforce what the students have learned and ensures continuity in their health education, as well as their interest in future careers as health professionals.