Junior League of Phoenix helps to empower youth and families to adopt healthy habits and reverse the growth of childhood obesity in Maricopa County.
Childhood Obesity: An Alarming Epidemic:
- Approximately 12.5 million American children between ages 2 and 19 are considered obese, and since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled. (Center For Disease Control and Prevention)
- In Arizona, 15.7% of all children ages 2 through 5 are overweight, and 14.6% of all adolescents grades 9-12 are overweight. (Center For Disease Control and Prevention)
- ·Only 8% of elementary schools, 6.4% of middle schools and 5.8% of high schools, provide physical activity education. (Healthy Kids Challenge)
Our Programs: Empowering Kids and Families through Education
In 2005, the Association of Junior Leagues International as a league-wide initiative designed to help communities address the urgent issues of childhood obesity and poor nutrition. Over 255 Leagues in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States conduct Junior League’s Kids in the Kitchen programs annually to their communities. Junior League of Phoenix began Kids in the Kitchen in 2005 with a partnership with the local Girl Scouts. While the initial event involved less than 5 girls and a chef, over 500 children participated in 2011-2012.
The Kids in the Kitchen Program Goals:
- Increase children’s awareness of the nutrition in everyday foods
- Improve the quality of healthy food that kids eat by showing them easy and tasty ways to eat better
- Increase the amount of exercise that kids do during their daily routine
Our programs involve many exciting hands-on components to get kids and families involved in learning how to be healthy. Programming focuses on four components led by league and community volunteers:
Chef Presentation: Students will create simple, healthy snacks with chef presenters.
Eat This Not That: An instructional presentation helping students choose healthy alternatives at popular restaurants and fast food chains.
Food Plate: An instruction of the Food Plate (the successor of the Food Pyramid) and how much food one should eat from each category in relation to their plates.
Exercise: Participation in 45 minutes of low-key and fun exercises to promote an active lifestyle.
Kids also get to take home activity packets and recipes to continue their learning.
Our Impact: Building a Healthy Arizona
Junior League of Phoenix believes that education and experience are the greatest tools to fighting child obesity. In 2013, Kids in the Kitchen implemented an event for students at the Champion School of Phoenix, followed by an event in April for 500 Girl Scouts.
In 2019, Kids in the Kitchen split into two focused areas for JLP: Monthly Lessons and Outreach.
Kids in the Kitchen Recipes