MSU Extension cooks up healthy living with kids

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL Participants of the Mississippi State Extension Service’s Kids in the Kitchen take a look at what’s for lunch as part of a lesson on grilling safety. (Monroe Journal)

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL
Participants of the Mississippi State Extension Service’s Kids in the Kitchen take a look at what’s for lunch as part of a lesson on grilling safety. (Monroe Journal)

ABERDEEN – The smells associated with healthy diets filled the Mississippi State Extension Service July 26 as participants of the Kids in the Kitchen program received hands-on lessons on kitchen safety, nutrition and making wise choices in food.

“It’s a program we do every summer to give kids the opportunity to taste foods they may not get at home and maybe influence their parents’ diets. One day these kids are going to be parents and this program helps them to know how to prepare meals when they’re young,” said Extension EFNEP youth educator Naomi Fulton.
In a full day’s list of activities, nine male and female participants ages six through nine learned about exercise, a range of healthy foods, grilling safety and even bike safety. Participants also did taste testings and learned about the different types of milk.

“One thing we try to push is the importance of exercising. So many people think they can eat all the junk food they want as long as they exercise, but the ingredients still have bad effects on their organs and clog arteries,” Fulton said.

Participants also learned the difference between gas and charcoal grilling as Monroe County 4-H agent Randall Nevins explained the steps in preparing a grill for cooking and proper purposes for utensils.

“If they’re grilling at home with their parents, they need to learn how to do it safely,” Nevins said.

Through the one day course, participants made fruit and vegetable kabobs and learned the importance of all the food groups being represented on a plate.

“I always want to make sure kids get a taste of something from each food group. It’s always a good idea for parents to put colorful foods on their child’s plate to appeal to them as well,” Fulton said.