BAKER, LA (WAFB) - The pitter patter of little feet in the kitchen is encouraged at Small Fry Cooking, llc. The owner of the cooking school for small hands, Nita Martin, is attempting to reshape the way children view food.
"Winning the battle against childhood obesity, one small fry at a time," said Martin.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is a nationwide problem, affecting over 12 million children. "We know it's a problem, living in Louisiana. Thirty percent of our kids are obese," said Martin.
Martin, who struggled with childhood obesity, is a certified Healthy Hands Cooking instructor. The Healthy Hands Cooking classes include a quick nutrition lesson before the future chefs dive into cooking their lunch. Martin says she's not telling her students that eating a burger and fries is terrible, but is rather introducing young minds to healthy substitutions.
"A lot of them come in and they're skeptical. They're like, 'Oh, I've never eaten that and I don't wanna' eat that. I don't wanna try that.' I tell them my rule is that you have to take two bites of everything," said Martin.
Kennedy Rispone, one the cooking students, says she never really liked mushrooms or bell peppers, but now is in favor of the vegetables.
"It's easier to raise up a child in the way they should go, then to try to change them when they get older," said Martin.
Most of the students say they aren't strangers to healthy eating. Now, Toria Patin has dreams of becoming a chef. "So you wanna' have a good and healthy snack, every day," she said.
Martin says she wants the students to walk away unafraid to try new foods and make hearty eating a lifestyle.
"God created me human, he didn't create me perfect. I look at everyone that way. We're all gonna' go through our ups and downs. I want them to, as young children, start forming those good habits," she said.
After a week of cooking healthy alternatives and sampling their own masterpieces, the kids say they're ready for the big time. "Not a professional, but close to a professional," said Rispone.
Small Fry Cooking, llc. is located inside CrossFit Zachary at 3204 LA 19.
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