CGI U 2013 at Washington University in St. Louis

Making Vegetables Fun: The St. Louis City Healthy Eating Initiative

Joel Wessol

Joel Wessol, graduate student in the School of Law

Wessol’s project, “Making Vegetables Fun: The St. Louis City Healthy Eating Initiative,” addresses childhood obesity in St. Louis. School children will learn about and practice healthy eating in the classroom, supported by the non-profit organization Wessol will start.

Once a week for an hour, students will help prepare and cook a dish with the chosen vegetable. After discussing how the selected vegetable is grown and harvested, students will help with food preparation. While the meal is cooking, students will participate in a writing exercise to help internalize what was learned that day. Afterwards, students will eat what they helped to prepare and gather as a class and discuss what they liked and did not like about the dish. The day’s recipe and the leftover vegetables will be distributed so students can share what they learned with their families.

The program teaches an appreciation for healthy eating, as well as providing assistance to low-income families with ideas for healthy foods the children enjoy. The non-profit will establish relationships with local business and farmers to provide the necessary financial support for the pilot program. It will work with schools to introduce the program into their curriculum.