The Brooke Jackman Foundation’s newest initiative, Brooke’s Cooks, is designed to promote literacy, learning and family, while encouraging healthy living among at-risk children and their families in the New York City area.
The first Brooke’s Cooks event was held, at the St. Nick’s Alliance in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with nearly 50 children and their families in attendance. Since then we have grown Brooke's Cooks to serve nearly 1000 children each year. The sessions incorporate discussions on health, include read alouds and cooking demonstrations. They culminate with the "try out" - eating what they cooked and the children return home with the recipes and brand new books to continue their healthy living journeys at home.
With programming led by Spoons Across America, attendees engaged in a discussion about eating seasonally and locally, and the children learned how to properly measure ingredients and cut safely. The group then made a salad and homemade vinaigrette with fresh ingredients, including vegetables and herbs the children picked from the St. Nicks garden. Each child also went home with a copy of Salad People by Molly Katzen as well as a handout with nutritious recipes to make at home with their families.
We continue to offer Brooke's Cooks throughout the year as part of our Brooke Jackman Literacy Programs and as stand alone special events with our Community Partnerships. Our newest Brooke’s cooks initiative with the Regan Jax Memorial Fund was created to combat the growing obesity epidemic in preschoolers. We co-hosted this Brooke's Cooks workshop series at the Children’s Outpatient Facility at Mt. Sinai Hospital where 1 in 4 preschoolers in Harlem are obese. This partnership aims to combat this epidemic while using healthy cooking to strengthen their literacy skills.
Watch our video to learn more about the program.