DENVER, Colo.  (CBS4) – Cooking can be a real challenge. Especially for the kids at the Johnson Boys and Girls Club, who are competing for first place.

“I know we’re going to win,” said eight grader Cristyl Hurtado. She has been a member for four years.

With five teams, five meals, and some healthy competition, the kids are becoming chefs.

“They were a little scared at first because people haven’t seen it before, but it tastes really good,” said Health Program Coordinator Laura Mortimer about her team’s broccoli and bacon salad.

All summer and fall, the boys and girls have been growing a community garden and learning about healthy eating. Now, the test is to prepare a fresh, healthy meal. Each dish must incorporate a vegetable from the garden.

“A lot of them don’t have access to the sort of healthy food that a lot of us do,” said Mortimer. “Teaching them that you can make healthy, delicious food on a budget, especially, is really important because that’s just not something they learn at home or in school.”

The garden is a collaboration with Amway Global Positive Sprouts Project, a three year program throughout seven cities.

First place went to the team that made soft tacos and guacamole. The program, though, teaches more than winning. It shows kids at the Boys and Girls Club how to be healthy for life.

“It teaches kids that if you grow a garden that you can make pretty good stuff out of it, and that you don’t really have to eat junk food,” said Cristyl.

Everyone at the club that day went home with a bag full of fresh fruits and veggies, recipes, and tips for healthy living.

Boys & Girls Club members get Health & Lifestyles programming throughout the year. You can support the Boys & Girls Club children this holiday season by donating a new toy to the CBS4 Care 4 Colorado Toy Drive. There are collection bins at all Metro area King Soopers stores through December 31st.

Written for the Web by CBS4’s Lisa Ferguson


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