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MSU camp teaches kids to have fun with food

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University will cook up some fun with children this summer at the fourth annual Fun with Food camp for kids June 21-25.

From left, Lamar Land, Ben Barker and Murritta Lane work as a team kneading dough to make bread at the annual “Fun with Food Camp.” Land, Barker and Lane attended the camp in 2009 and had the opportunity to make many nutritious meals and learn more about the culinary arts. (Photo by Karen Templeton) Click to enlarge
Lamar Land, Ben Barker and Murritta Lane work as a team kneading dough to make bread at the annual “Fun with Food Camp.” Land, Barker and Lane attended the camp in 2009 and had the opportunity to make many nutritious meals and learn more about the culinary arts. (Photo by Karen Templeton)

MSU’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion is offering the camp to children entering third through sixth grades as an opportunity for hands-on food experiences.

The camp takes place on campus from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Activities are designed to spark children’s interest in food and give them an understanding of how food makes its way from the farm to their tables. Sylvia Byrd, a registered dietitian and associate professor in the department, and Chef Roland Parny will lead programs focusing on eating locally, foods and flavors, meal-planning skills and recipe comprehension, among other topics.

Campers will be introduced to agriculture by visiting a local farm and garden. They will tour MSU’s cheese plant, dairy farm and sensory laboratory, and a local grocery store. Each day will include cooking experiences that teach children about food preparation, nutrition and health. Cooking techniques the campers learn, such as reading recipes, measuring ingredients and journaling, will also enhance their reading, mathematics and writing skills.

“Our camp offers fun and learning for the whole family,” Byrd said. “Grandparents who have their grandchildren for summer visits find it to be an opportunity for the kids to have fun. The children can bring the lessons they learn at camp home, creating some memorable activities for grandparents and parents to enjoy with the children.”

In addition to acquiring new culinary skills, campers will be taught the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  They will participate in games that promote general learning and physical activity. Byrd said research shows that healthy habits learned through fun activities remain with the campers for years to come.

The $200 registration fee includes meals, snacks, field trips and a T-shirt. For more information or to register, visit http://www.fsnhp.msstate.edu  or contact Byrd at (662) 325-0919. The registration deadline is June 15.

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Writer:  Karen Templeton

Released:  May 6, 2010
Contact: Dr. Sylvia Byrd, (662) 325-0919

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