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College of Science and Mathematics

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Cal Poly's Pink & Dude Chefs Demonstrate Healthy Cooking

May 2, 2013

Contact: Stephanie Teaford

Panelist of woman in chef hatsSTRIDE's Pink & Dude Chefs treated Cal Poly alumni and friends to some healthy cooking this winter. Following a campus brunch based on student recipes, Cal Poly's Health Ambassadors and one of their middle school chef trainees demonstrated how to make granola.

STRIDE is a multidisciplinary research group housed in the Kinesiology Department whose mission is to advance knowledge and practice in obesity prevention.

"My life as a student has been shaped by my work with STRIDE," said Tianna Sheehan, a graduate student in the Food Science and Nutrition Department and Pink & Dude Chefs program coordinator. "STRIDE has given me more experience than a class. It's a business. It's helped me decide what next steps I want to take in life."

Cal Poly student Health Ambassadors lead the Pink & Dude Chefs program, teaching middle school chefs-in-training how to use fresh ingredients to prepare healthy meals and snacks for their families. The ambassadors also serve as positive role models. By introducing fresh fruits and vegetables, the program also teaches middle school students nutrition fundamentals and kitchen skills.

"I've learned work ethic, communication and organization," said Kaitlin Xavier, a site manager for the Health Ambassadors. "I can take the information I've learned in my nutrition courses and use it to make a difference in the community."

The granola bars were a hit with the crowd. "I think it's a wonderful outreach to the community," said Joyce Andrews, a San Luis Obispo community member.

The Pink & Dude Chefs program has recently been adopted by a middle school in Grand Forks, N.D., and featured in Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Museums & Gardens newsletter.

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