Thanks to a grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services through Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District, Canvas Health’s school-based therapists are able to provide enhanced mental health groups in some of the school buildings. Beatrice Ajana, Canvas Health school-based therapist, recently partnered with her school’s social worker, Gaby Reeve, to start cooking classes for students at Metro Heights Academy.
All students at the school, whether or not they are actively involved in therapy, are welcome to join the cooking classes. The focus of the class is making and tasting diverse recipes. In their first class, students made a Mexican guacamole recipe. The next class is going to focus on a Nigerian meal from Beatrice’s family.
Goals of the cooking class include:
- Create a stronger sense of community for our Metro Heights scholars
- A nice learning break from pure academics
- Voluntary student participation; create the menu and lessons
- Attain new knowledge
- Motivate diverse food choices
- Spread lessons to household and community
All of these goals are created with the overarching goal of improving mental health. For more information on how cooking can impact mental health, see articles below:
Cooking Is the Perfect Recipe for Mental Health | Psychreg
Mental Health Benefits of Cooking Your Own Food (verywellmind.com)
Kitchen therapy: Here’s how cooking at home can help your mental health (msn.com)