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Healthalicious Cooking

Six after school lessons used to develop student skills in food preparation, recipe reading, menu planning, meal preparation, and physical activity.


This curriculum is designed for afterschool settings to teach students how to make healthy food choices. The program objectives are to develop student skills in food preparation, recipe reading, menu planning, and cleanup; introduce new foods; enjoy simple physically active games; and develop students’ self-confidence to prepare meals and be physically active. Each lesson contains a short, fun introductory activity; an active game; preparation, sharing, and cleanup of a meal; time to reflect; and goal setting. Activities cover guidelines for nutrition and physical activity, balancing meals, eating whole grains, choosing fruits and vegetables, planning and balancing meals, and eating and sharing meals.

What’s Inside

Lesson delivery options and content background are explained for program leaders. The program includes tips for asking open-ended questions and encouraging healthy eating behaviors; a student self-assessment for rating cooking skills; physical activities, shopping lists, and goal setting activities for each lesson; and how to be a healthy role model. Handouts, evaluations, measurement tables, and take-home family letters are included.

Activity Highlight

Lesson 3, “Make It Crunchy: Go for Whole Grains,” includes a physical activity, goal-setting discussion, health activities, a cooking and eating activity, cleanup, quick-write, and new goal-setting activity. Students learn to identify the parts of a whole grain, recognize foods containing whole grains, and explain the importance of eating whole grains. They then work as a team to prepare a meal and clean up.

  • Key Content Areas: After School, Cafeteria Connections, Food Literacy and Cooking Activities, MyPlate, Parent/Family Involvement, Physical Activity

  • Originator of Resources: University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • User of Resource: After school teachers

  • Audience: Grades 4–7

  • Languages: English

  • Number of lessons: 6 lessons

  • Amount of time per lesson: Lessons can be presented in 6 weeks (2.5 hours/lesson) or 12 weeks (1.5 hours/lesson)

  • Format: Downloadable


To access the curriculum, visit the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources Healthalicious Cooking: Learning about Food and Physical Activity: Introduction web page External link opens in new window or tab..


If you have any questions, contact the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources by phone at 800-994-8849.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Friday, July 28, 2023
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