ORLANDO (FOX 13) - In the teaching kitchen at Nemours Children's Hospital near Orlando, you'll find kids learning to cook as their parents watch. Registered dietitian Mandy Layman teaches her patients to transform kid-friendly foods into healthy snacks.
"I just found that the families would ask questions that were difficult to answer in the exam room," Layman explained. "So to be able to answer them in the kitchen really allows us to do some hands-on teaching."
She has had children as young as 3 in her kitchen. Layman demonstrates safe knife skills, but only allows her young sous-chefs-in-training to use plastic utensils.
After moving here from Chicago seven months ago, 13-year-old Melanie Ramirez is already seeing benefits. "It’s really inspiring me, I can actually do things that I never thought I could do. I walk every day, and I use less of my inhaler."
Melanie has asthma and her meds made it easy to gain weight. But Layman's fiber-filled recipes make it easier to resist temptation.
Layman sees an impact she hopes will follow these teens into adulthood.
"My dream is to help as many people as I can eat healthier so that health problems don't get in the way of things they want to do in life," she said.
LINK: To see Mandy Layman's recipes, go to www.kidfitfoods.com.