Skip To Main Content

Burnsville Youth Collaborative, University of Minnesota Extension gets middle schoolers in the kitchen

A partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension brings Cooking Matters, a cooking-based, nutrition education program, to District 191 middle school students.

Students enrolled in the Burnsville Youth Collaborative, an after-school program at both Eagle Ridge and Nicollet Middle Schools, have the unique opportunity to participate in the course, which connects kids with nutritious food options and encourages them to eat healthier.  

Taught by a dedicated group of volunteers and educators, the program meets for two hours, once a week, for six weeks. Participants learn how to read food labels, plan menus on a budget, use different herbs and spices, make the best use of their food resources and prepare a healthy recipe. Through engaging, hands-on opportunities in the kitchen, students learn how to cook healthy, affordable meals.  

“I enjoy making different types of foods from different cultures,” said Yaretzi Chavez Garcia, a sixth-grader. “I’ve learned how to cut stuff and cook food.”

“I’ve enjoyed eating the food and learning how to cook,” said seventh-grader Christopher Vazquez-Garcia.

Ella Yego, an eighth-grader added, “I’ve enjoyed working with my friends to cook new foods. I’ve learned how to chop vegetables and use teamwork!”

Eagle Ridge students have nearly completed their six-week course, and a cook-off is slated for March 10 at 5 p.m. Judging the cook-off are Eagle Ridge Principal Mohamed Selim, Gideon Pond Principal Isis Buchanan and City of Savage Police Chief Rodney Seurer. 

Nicollet’s six-week program runs March 17 through April 28, and a cook-off is planned for April 28 at Nicollet. 

For more information about Cooking Matters, you can visit the University of Minnesota Extension website