Thyme to Cook for Kids dishes out fun

St. Vincent's One Nineteen's Thyme to Cook for Kids summer camp program teaches kids how to cook delicious, healthy meals in a fun atmosphere. (File)

St. Vincent’s One Nineteen’s Thyme to Cook for Kids summer camp program teaches kids how to cook delicious, healthy meals in a fun atmosphere. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY—St. Vincent’s One Nineteen is cooking up the fun this summer as Thyme to Cook for Kids returns for a 10th summer on June 15.

The five-day long camp teaches children cooking skills through preparing a variety of healthy and delicious meals.

“I know Shelby County is one of the healthiest, but we still wanted to teach children the proper way to eat so they are growing up with this in mind,” Donna Sibley, a registered dietician at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen, said. “It’s very important to get kids involved at a young age.”

Each day, from 8 a.m. to noon, children prepare four different recipes, starting with an appetizer or breakfast item, which they eat as a snack. They also cook a balanced entree, which they eat as lunch.

Each meal is prepared with healthy ingredients and features balanced nutrition with fruits and vegetables.

“We’ll do an entree and a salad or a vegetable,” Sibley said. “Many times we’ll do a dessert, but it’s not a traditional dessert, it’s usually a fruited dessert, something that’s really healthy. We don’t do cupcakes or that kind of thing.”

This year, St. Vincent’s One Nineteen is offering two themed sessions of Thyme to Cook for Kids: Around the World in Five Days, June 15-19 for ages 6-9 and June 22-26 for ages 10-12; From Farm to Fork, July 20-24 for ages 6-9 and July 27-31 for ages 10-12.

During Around the World in Five Days, children will learn to cook a variety of traditional foods from Asia, Mexico, France, Greece and Brazil. Throughout the week, they’ll also learn about each culture and traditional games.

“The kids just love the international cooking,” Sibley said.

The From Farm to Fork session introduces children to a number of fresh-grown ingredients and uses them to craft delicious meals.

“We do a lot of things like shucking corn and snapping peas or shelling butter beans,” Sibley said. “We try to take really clean recipes and make them a little more fun for the kids. We dress it up a little bit, try to do some unusual things to make it a little more interesting.”

Cooking isn’t just a fun activity, through the process of reading and following recipes, measuring ingredients and mixing to create a meal, it reinforces math, science and reading skills, Sibley explained.

Each session is led by a St. Vincent’s One Nineteen registered dietician and staffed by college students majoring in dietetics. At the end of each week, children receive a cookbook with each of the recipes they made during the program.

“They get a cookbook at the end of the week that has all 20 recipes in it so they can do it over and over again,” Sibley said.

For more information about Thyme to Cook for Kids, or any of the summer programs at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen, visit Onenineteen.com.