Recipe for Success' Seed to Plate

Recipe for Success Foundation was launched in 2005 by Gracie & Bob Cavnar to lead the way in hands-on nutrition education aimed at preventing childhood obesity and encouraging long term health. In just a few years, it has grown to the largest outreach of its kind in the nation, empowering over 4,000 children each and every month with its signature Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ and other initiatives to change the way they understand, appreciate and eat their food.

When we decided to translate research into action, Houston had a few dedicated community members focused on childhood obesity, but none who were devoted to the idea of changing the way children perceive, prepare and eat their food. At RFS, we believe that children need to learn that food doesn't grow in drive through windows and plastic wrapping; that Twinkie is not a vegetable.

Research shows that food attitudes and weight patterns are set for life by age eleven and that experiential learning presents the most successful model for changing behavior, which is why the core of our activity is with elementary students. RFS determined to put children in touch with whole, healthy food through fun, hands-on activities with the express goals of increasing their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and reducing their resistance to trying new foods.

RFS began programming in 2006 by launching Chefs in Schools™ in twenty-five 4th grade classrooms with the help of Houston's finest professional chefs. Together, we created and delivered monthly cooking lessons throughout the school year in five Title One HISD schools, which had been selected for diverse ethnic populations. These became the RFS Showcase Schools. Many of the original pilot sites remain RFS Showcase Schools where programing continues to be developed, tested, delivered and underwritten by the Foundation. Expansive Recipe Gardens were built in each Showcase School where every child in PreK-5th grade receives specialized monthly curriculum.

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