A new program launched in Littleton last week that is teaching kids from lower-income families how to choose, plan and prepare healthy meals.

“The classes teach food safety and label reading,” Chris Wilkins, director of the Littleton Parks and Recreation Department, told us. “It’s an ideal program for kids who are interested and want to do more and are excited about cooking. It teaches kids and families to utilize the healthy food choices available. The hope is when children are going shopping they will be able to pick out healthy foods.”

According to our report from Robert Blechl, the classes are part of a program called Cooking Matters, a nationally recognized cooking-based nutrition program created by Share Our Strength and hosted locally by the New Hampshire Food Bank. Blechl writes that the classes will be held in the commercial kitchen at Littleton High School and are for students in the fifth and sixth grades at Lakeway Elementary School.

The program is a partnership between Littleton Parks and Recreation Department, the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and the New Hampshire Food Bank (a program of New Hampshire Catholic Charities).

For the six weeks the class runs, the kids will take their healthy meals home with them to feed their families. But the skills they learn will undoubtedly last them a lifetime.

More brilliantly, that lifetime is more likely to be high-energy and malady-free thanks to this simple but innovative approach.

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