Questions About Funding
WHY ARE YOU NO LONGER OFFERING FUNDING?
We’ve decided to stop offering funding in 2019, so we can focus our efforts on creating a comprehensive nutrition education hub, with open access to the Learning Kitchen Curriculum, and a wealth of additional nutrition education resources from statewide and national partners. We understand insufficient funding is a major barrier in bringing nutrition education to your communities, so please visit our grants page for more information on funding opportunities.
Questions About The Learning Kitchen Team
WHO MAKES UP THE “TLK TEAM?"
There are 3 roles that should be filled in order to make your TLK series a success:
Host Coordinator: Responsibilities include recruiting TLK instructors (Nutrition Educator and Chef) and class participants, identifying a suitable location, arranging for the purchase of groceries needed for each class, generating enthusiasm in the community for The Learning Kitchen, and attending lessons if possible. This person MUST have strong organizational and program management skills.
Nutrition Educator: The educator is responsible for delivering the program curriculum to participants. The nutrition educator should be well-versed in health and nutrition and capable of effectively teaching a group of participants.
Chef: The chef is responsible for leading participants through the cooking portion of the curriculum. The chef does not need to be a professional, but professional chefs enhance the program quality.
DO THE INDIVIDUALS FILLING THE ROLE OF NUTRITION EDUCATOR OR CHEF NEED TO BE TRAINED PROFESSIONALS?
The Chef does not need to be a professional chef, but they do need to be very comfortable in the kitchen and able to lead a group while offering guidance around recipe preparation, cooking techniques, and food safety.
The Nutrition Educator does not need to be a Registered Dietitian or professional nutritionist, but they should be well-versed in health and nutrition, and capable of effectively teaching a group of participants. Nutrition Educators who have less health and nutrition related experience will need to spend more time preparing for each lesson.
CAN ONE PERSON FILL MORE THAN ONE ROLE ON THE TLK TEAM (HOST, NUTRITION EDUCATOR, CHEF)?
Yes, one person can fill more than one role on the TLK team. Sometimes the Host will also be the Nutrition Educator, or the Nutrition Educator will also be the Chef, etc. As long as the person is capable of effectively fulfilling the requirements of each role they are filling, it is fine. Keep in mind, however, that it will be more time consuming for that one person if they are filling multiple roles, and it could potentially be more challenging to manage a group of participants effectively.
WHAT SORT OF TIME COMMITMENT WILL RUNNING A SERIES REQUIRE?
Each TLK class lasts approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Additional prep time outside of class varies, but will typically require at least an extra hour or more. Nutrition Instructors and Host Coordinators should expect to commit a minimum of 3 hours each week for 6 weeks.
Questions About Participants
HOW MANY PARTICIPANTS DO I NEED TO RECRUIT TO RUN A SERIES?
For a successful series, we recommend aiming to recruit 10-12 participants, since it is common for participation to drop, especially in Adult series.
WHAT DO I DO IF I’M HAVING TROUBLE RECRUITING PARTICIPANTS?
If you are having a difficult time recruiting enough participants, please visit our Outreach Strategies page. On this page we share recruitment strategies and outreach materials you can use to increase participation. Think creatively about your own community and how to best connect with the population your seeking to engage.
CAN THE WHOLE FAMILY ATTEND THE CLASSES?
Yes! Review the curriculum to determine which curriculum is most appropriate to accomplish your vision.
Questions About Curriculum & Supporting Materials
WHAT ARE THE REINFORCEMENTS? HOW SHOULD THEY BE USED?
HFVT recommends providing reinforcement items for each Learning Kitchen participant. Examples of the types of reinforcement items that we have recommended in the past include measuring cups, measuring spoons, recipe books, and a set of the recipe cards from the recipes used in the Learning Kitchen Curriculum. These items are meant to be used as a way to reinforce the messages learned during TLK lessons, and to celebrate successes participants have in reaching their cooking and healthy eating goals.
DO I HAVE TO FOLLOW THE CURRICULUM EXACTLY? HOW FLEXIBLE IS IT?
The curriculum should be followed as much as possible while still responding to the needs of your individual group of participants. We know every group is different, so we have built a certain amount of flexibility into the curriculum (e.g., flexible recipe ingredients, optional recipes, splitting up the curriculum into more frequent, shorter lessons and pulling in additional activities from the Activity Bank).
We are very interested in your feedback and want to hear about what works and doesn’t work from your perspective. We take instructor and host feedback into account when we revise the curriculum, so let us know what you think in the Feedback Form at the conclusion of your series!
WHAT IS THE ACTIVITY BANK?
The Activity Bank is a group of extra 5-15 minute activities that can be incorporated into lessons if there is time, or they can be used as stand alone mini-lessons. There are 2-3 activities in the Activity Bank that are associated with each lesson. The curriculum will often prompt you to include a particular activity from the Activity Bank if you have time to fit it in. You may also swap out activities that are in the main curriculum with activities from the Activity Bank if this will better meet the learning needs of your group. One way to identify which activities suit the needs of your group is to review the results of the pre-series Food Behavior Checklist.
I KEEP RUNNING OUT OF TIME AND CAN’T FINISH THE LESSONS. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Some groups do have trouble making it through the entire lesson before they run out of time. Some strategies you can try include:
Be fully prepared before each class to avoid lulls and make transitions between activities smooth.
It saves time when the Nutrition Educator and Chef work together to coordinate and plan the cooking and nutrition education portions of each lesson.
Set up nutrition education activities and cooking stations in advance.
For some groups it is simply too much material to cover. The curriculum is designed to be flexible to best meet the needs of a given group. If you find you are running out of time:
Before class, identify the most important messages to impart with your particular group of participants. Use the lesson goals and objectives to help you with this. Prioritize activities that support these messages.
Before class, identify which information or activity you will skip if you are running short on time.
If your class does best with the more hands-on activities, prioritize these.
If participants are able to attend, consider holding a 7th class so you can still cover all of the material in the curriculum.
Please give us feedback in the Feedback Form if you continue to struggle with covering all of the material in each lesson so we can determine whether we need to adjust the curriculum in future revisions.