Kids in the Kitchen Program Thriving Amid Pandemic
Written by: Christina Victor, 2021-2022 Kids in the Kitchen Chair
At the start of the 2021-2022 Junior League of Lafayette League year, COVID-19 and the
surge of the delta variant caused much uncertainty for the Kids in the Kitchen Committee. Kids in the Kitchen is a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Lafayette, specifically the Jackie and Granberry units. The partnership is designed to promote health and wellness by empowering children to make healthy lifestyle choices. We also teach table setting and table etiquette. You can read more about the Committee’s past and current work here.
Approximately 30 kids were enrolled and participated in the program that began in the Fall of
2021. We began the year virtually, delivering the materials for our kitchen portion of the program to each unit and virtually providing a cooking lesson each week for four weeks.
The kids enjoyed making various items such as grilled chicken wraps, pizza on English muffins, and “sushi” sandwiches made with deli turkey and whole wheat bread. Our activities portion of the program had various exercises and workouts designed to get the participants moving. They enjoyed Crossfit from a certified kids Crossfit instructor, a zydeco dancing workout, and other cardio activities that kept their heart rates up.
The kids were challenged and tried many new things throughout the program. Watching their smiles was truly the highlight of the program for me. This year, we not only participated in our Kids in the Kitchen programming, but we added a new snack delivery component for the children at the club who were not enrolled as Kids in the Kitchen participants. We realized as a League that the children at the clubs who were not enrolled may also want a healthy snack too.
Our fall session wrapped up with a graduation ceremony and gift – this took place at Pete’s on Johnston. The kids were able to use the skills they learned during the program in an actual restaurant and participate in a highly anticipated off-site field trip. Seeing those beautiful smiles and playing a small part in making this community a better place, especially for the children we work with, is one of my absolute favorite parts of being in the League.