Here at Beyond Breakfast, we’ve been following the work of the Recipe for Success Foundation since 2010, when SNF blogger/consultant Christina saw R4S founder Gracie Cavnar speak at TEDxHouston. “Every powerful idea starts with a flicker of inspiration,” Cavnar told the TEDxHouston crowd that day, and she went on to outline how her foundation translates research into action to reduce childhood obesity. “We put kids in touch with their food from seed to plate—and it’s working … We invade the schools; we garden, we cook, we build a culture of health, campus-wide.” Recipe for Success gardens and cooking classes are supplemented by lessons in other classes—from science to math to language arts—that help reinforce the healthy messaging. “The gardens touch everything,” says Cavnar with a smile. Watch Gracie’s TEDxHouston talk in its entirety, below:
Recipe for Success is dedicated to combating childhood obesity by taking a message of health directly to students at school. Through school gardens, nutrition education, and cooking instruction, R4S is changing the way children understand and eat their food. We were thrilled when, last December, Recipe for Success invited us into the garden and classrooms of their flagship school, MacGregor Elementary, to get an up-close-and-personal look at the program. We visited MacGregor on two separate occasions, which allowed us to take a trip to the garden with Miss Howard’s first graders, as well as observe two fourth-grade classes receive nutrition and cooking instruction—including a visit from one of Houston’s most popular celeb chefs, Randy Evans! Evans’ restaurant Haven is known for its ever-changing menu of seasonal favorites; his farm-to-table concept includes an on-site sustainable organic garden, and is one of the most popular restaurants in the city.
Earlier this month Recipe for Success also kicked off their Veg Out! campaign, which challenges kids and adults to increase their regular intake of fresh veggies. The thirty day challenge is a fun way to promote healthier eating, and gives everyone an incentive to try new foods and increase their consumption of vegetables. We have checked out the #vegoutrfs hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, and the entries look delicious! Houston Mayor Annise Parker is taking the challenge, while Houston’s Four Seasons restaurant, Quattro, is featuring a “veggie of the week” on their menu in honor of the Veg Out! challenge.
Stay tuned to Beyond Breakfast as we take you through our classroom and garden visits, as well as bring you our own interview with R4S founder Gracie Cavnar. We know you’ll love Cavnar’s wit as much as her incisive views on childhood obesity; her passion for bringing a healthy food message to kids comes through with every word.