My lovely friend Maya Adam, MD, recently launched a free online course, “Child Nutrition and Cooking,” through Coursera, a web-based platform for “massive open online courses.”
In this fun, five-week “MOOC,” participants learn about the basics of child nutrition and how to make healthy meals for children and families. Weekly lectures are broken down into bite-sized, fact-filled video cooking tutorials, with homework assignments like “Prepare a colorful vegetable dish and send us a photo.” (Warning — your meal photos will be peer-reviewed, so presentation matters.)
For Adam, a lecturer on child health and nutrition in Stanford’s Program in Human Biology, developing this course was a labor of love. “My goal is to get people to return to a simpler, healthier and more economical way of cooking,” she recently told me. “By sharing a few tips and tools with family meal preparers, I hope to inspire a lifelong celebration of easy, home-cooked meals.”
So far, more than 22,000 aspiring cooks have signed up for the course, which just began its second week. Although the tutorials can be accessed at any time, by taking the course during this active period, participants benefit from live discussions with Adam, her teaching staff and fellow cooks.
Later in the year Adam will use these videos in her Stanford Human Biology courses through a “flipped-classroom” teaching model, which blends in-classroom and online lectures together to reinforce newly learned information.
Another caveat in taking this course: Don’t watch the cooking lessons on an empty stomach. Everything looks delicious, and it could lead to overeating.
Previously: Talking to kids about junk food ads, Sugar intake, diabetes and kids: Q&A with a pediatric obesity expert, New evidence for a direct sugar-to-diabetes link, Kids don’t need “kids’ food” and Smaller plates may be a tool to curtail childhood obesity
Photo courtesy of Stanford Online Learning