What is Cooking for Kids?

At Cooking for Kids, we strive to ensure that schools and child care centers not only meet federal guidelines but also provide nutritious meals that children enjoy.

We offer affordable to no-cost professional training that will help you meet your goals.

Additionally, we provide recipes and other resources to teachers and parents so they can teach their children the importance of balanced nutrition.

Our Purpose

The Oklahoma State Department of Education, Child Nutrition and the Oklahoma State University Department of Nutritional Sciences have come together to run a culinary training program for child nutrition professionals called Cooking for Kids.

In the fall of 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented stricter standards for school lunch “meal patterns,” and in 2015, Congress amended the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to include nutrition standards for “a la carte” lunch lines. Combined, these changes have caused complications for schools operating on a limited budget.

Cooking for Kids aims to change the landscape of school nutrition through chef-led culinary training for school nutrition professionals resulting in:

  • Expanded public support for child nutrition programs meals
  • Greater availability of freshly prepared foods
  • Increased student participation in school meals

How We Help

Low- to No-Cost Culinary Training

We give child nutrition professionals the opportunity to cultivate their culinary skills with help from trained chefs.

Healthy Lunches on a Budget

We know you’re limited by budget – that’s why we help you find ways to feed your kids great food without breaking the bank.

Less Plate Waste

We teach you how to prepare food that delivers the nutrition kids need in a way they find appetizing.

Student Buy-In

We help you develop a marketing plan for your menu. Get kids on board with foods they’re unfamiliar with through tastings and social media pages.

Here for You

We teach you how to prepare food that delivers the nutrition kids need in a way they find appetizing.

Our Partners

We would like to thank our partners for their enthusiasm and willingness to participate, as well as our team members for their dedication.

Meet the people who help make it possible.

Meet the Team

Deana Hildebrand
Project Director

Cass Ring
Project Manager

Callie Fowler

Bill Harris

Ginger Lugo

Our chefs are here to help you with hands-on training in the kitchen. They’re not just trained culinary experts – they’re passionate about helping kids throughout Oklahoma eat right. You can request a chef consultation here.