The Kids Cool Monday

Start Your Week Off Right: Make Monday Family Night!

The Kids Cook Monday is a weekly opportunity for families to enjoy the healthy habit of cooking together and eating family meals. The campaign provides family-friendly recipes via its Family Dinner Date newsletter, website and social media channels. It also offers free resources for parents and educators including recipe printables and a comprehensive toolkit developed with Columbia University Teachers College.



Fed Up

Fed Up promotes The Kids Cook Monday as a tool to fight childhood obesity

Fed Up, the shocking documentary about childhood obesity from Katie Couric, Laurie David, Stephanie Soechtig, lists The Kids Cook Monday among their recommended resources. When the movie premiered in May 2014, The Kids Cook Monday participated in the Fed Up Challenge, a 10-day challenge to go without added sugar.


Cooking Planit helps cook and eat together with innovative tools is an innovative meal planning website and app that seamlessly integrates multiple dishes into one easy-to-follow recipe. The site encourages users to make Monday night family night by hosting a collection of family friendly recipes selected by The Kids Cook Monday’s staff dietitian.

Food Day

Food Day shares The Kids Cook Monday weekly recipes and cooking activities

In 2013, Food Day focused on the important issue of cooking with kids. Food Day recommends our free toolkits to educators interested in organizing local Food Day events and shares The Kids Cook Monday’s weekly recipes regularly on their blog.


ShopRite Launches In-Store Cooking Classes for Kids

ShopRite’s first Kids Cook Monday cooking class was held on March 25, 2013, at the grocer’s Washington, NJ, location. Children ages 4 to 8 attended the class, taught by retail dietitian Carly Sopko, in the store’s culinary demo area. In two hours, the children and their parents worked together to prepare two recipes: Mashed Potato Hills and Greek Salad; ideal starter dishes for 4 to 8 year olds. Some children chopped, some made salad dressing from scratch and everyone relished their first Kids Cook Monday recipes.

“The class was full 10 days prior to the event,” said Sopko. “It went great and I already have 13 people signed up for the next class in May!”

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Camps Teach Culinary Survival Skills with Kids Cook Monday

The American Camp Association (ACA) now offers our free Educator’s Toolkit to its network of over 2,400 camps across the U.S. Almost immediately after alerting camps about the program, sites like Camp Towanda in Honesdale, PA, began offering Kids Cook Monday activities, recipes and take-home ideas to campers.

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zisboombah Brings Kids Cook Monday to Online Gaming

Award-winning nutrition game developer ZisBoomBah uses The Kids Cook Monday in its popular gaming platform. In ZisBoomBah’s “Challenger Calendar” game families are able to accept fun Kids Cook Monday quests, encouraging them to start the week by cooking and sharing a healthful meal together. In addition, Kids Cook Monday recipes are now available via ZisBoomBah’s “Flip It” game. The recipes include child-friendly steps, information about the ingredients and the ability for parents and children to rate and share the dish with others

grandparents Offers Special Kids Cook Monday Recipes has embraced Kids Cook Monday as a way to help families cook and eat together. Readers can have fun in the kitchen with their grandkids thanks to the site’s weekly family-friendly recipes and kitchen tips. Monday meal ideas are also offered through the e-newsletter, which is received by over 70,000 subscribers.



Columbia Pilot Program Sets the Foundation for Family Dinner

In 2010, 16 families gathered for three consecutive Kids Cook Monday cooking classes at The Center for Food and Environment at Teachers College, Columbia University. Parents worked with their children to prepare a healthy, inexpensive and flavorful meal, which was then shared as a group. In addition, participants received kid-friendly recipe ideas, kitchen tips and conversation starters to help parents facilitate dinnertime talks.

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Keep Up Family Day All Year Round

Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children was launched in 2001 by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Family Day has since become a national movement to celebrate parental engagement and get families cooking and eating together. Research conducted by the Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has found that children who have regular family dinners eat more nutritious diets, get better grades in school and develop better communication skills.

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book club

Kids Cook Monday with a Side Order of Kindness

Big-Hearted Families has teamed up with The Kids Cook Monday to share stories, activities with lessons of kindness and kid-friendly recipes. The Big-Hearted Families Book Club is an easy way for families to learn and practice the art of compassion at home.

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Kids Play Monster Chef at Recipalooza

The Children’s Museum of Houston and the healthy gaming website Playnormous teamed up with The Kids Cook Monday in January 2011 for Recipalooza, a fun contest that asks kids to play healthy “monster chef” for a day. The contest on challenges children all over the country to cook healthy recipes at home every Monday to start the week off right. In addition to the online component, The Children’s Museum of Houston hosted Recipalooza activities where families collected healthy foods in grocery baskets and invented their own dinner recipe.

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The Kids Cook Monday Research

The Kids Cook Monday can help families maintain the healthy habit of cooking and eating together:

A 2014 survey by FGI found that nearly 90% of respondents agreed that implementing a weekly “family dinner night” could help families to eat together more often.

Evidence links family dinners to healthier life choices:

  • Nearly 32% of U.S. children aged 2 – 19 are overweight or obese, which puts them at risk for a host of serious health conditions as adults. Research shows that kids who consistently eat dinner with their families are less likely to be obese and are more likely to get better grades and avoid drugs.
  • A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that as few as one or two family meals per week in adolescence is associated with reduced rates of overweight and obesity later in life.
  • The American Dietetic Association found women who cook regularly consume a more nutritious diet than those who ate out often.
  • Cooking also reinforces skills to help kids succeed like math, teamwork and following instructions.

The Kids Cook Monday in Harlem

harlemkidscookThe Center for Food & Environment at Teachers College Columbia University and the Harlem Health Promotion teamed up with The Kids Cook Monday initiative to launch The Kids Cook Monday Pilot — a weekly community cooking class for families.

Eighteen families gathered for three consecutive Monday night cooking classes at Columbia Teachers College. Parents worked with their children to prepare a healthy, inexpensive and flavorful entree, which was then shared with the group. In addition, participants received kid-friendly recipe ideas, kitchen tips and conversation starters to help parents facilitate dinnertime talks.

Children who participated in the classes were willing to try more healthy foods and 70% wanted to be included in family meal preparation as a result. Parents also had positive feedback, noting that The Kids Cook Monday classes reduced their reliance on takeout, helped them cook more meals at home, and showed that their children could be trusted to help in the kitchen.