Chef Vanessa is capturing the imagination and taste buds of young children before they form preferences for processed foods through Project Bread’s Chefs in Head Start program.
Taking the best practices developed through the Chefs in Schools Program, Chef Vanessa LaBranche is working with students, their parents, and the Head Start kitchen staff to demonstrate that very young kids will eat healthy food when prepared properly. With a focus on preparing culturally appropriate foods to a largely Latino population, Chef Vanessa teaches parents to make menu items such as roasted corn and yellow squash quesadillas, braised chicken tacos, and Mexican rice with black beans.
“It starts with the parents,” explains Chef Vanessa. “The way they feed their kids is the first lesson they pass on to their children. They may care a lot, but if they don’t know what healthy eating is or how to cook or budget for it, what can they do? Our goal is to engage the parents, teachers, and kids in a process that teaches them what to eat and why it is important for their learning.”