McKinley K – 8

Take Back The Plate

The Game Day Kitchen- “Take Back The Table”

Bringing our families and communities together “One Dish At A Time”


The Mission Statement: Getting our children, their families, and our communities into the kitchen, cooking, learning, talking, spending time together, and focusing on what’s happening in their day to day lives. Discussing what is happening at school, at work, at extracurricular activities, and all aspects of our week. Removing technology and replacing it with an authentic face to face interactions and quality time. The building, rebuilding and repairing relationships one dish at a time.


  1. School-based instruction: Starting with Pre-K and expanding through all grade levels: develop a knowledge and understanding of the culinary world (food appreciation and exploration), food safety, balanced nutrition, potential dietary restrictions (allergies), self-awareness in the kitchen, family traditions, value of spending time with family/conversation, and cultivating self-pride through the ability to prepare meals and foster a dialogue with family, friends, and community. Creating an effective curriculum Pre-12 grade, videos, mini cooking shows (like channel 1) create cookbooks, software for the kids to utilize. All content areas will be utilized and aligned with the common core standards.
  2. Community Level: Getting parents into the schools/ and or community venues to do cooking instruction, meal prep, education on developing a culture that cooking and dining is valuable and necessary, cost-saving tips, how to have conversations with children while cooking and off technology, the importance of it is a “life skill”, and working to instill a culture and pride within the family base revolving around their cooking.

Statistics: Research shows the following

  1. Family meals lead to better family relationships
  2. Family meals lead to healthier choices
  3. Eating as a family leads to better grades for students due to face to face conversation
  4. Family meals lead to greater happiness
  5. Homemade meals promote portion control
  6. Family meals tend to impact an overall healthier familial lifestyle
  7. Family meals relieve stress due to conversation
  8. Eating at home saves money

Profile image of the Take Back the Plate Coordinator

Meet the Coordinator: Jen Heasley is the founder of Jen Heasley’s Cooking With The Pros LLC which encompasses; Jen Heasley’s Cooking With The Pros television show, The Game Day Kitchen Cookbook, The Game Day Kitchen Catering Company, and Cooking Classes/Parties and Sweet Mama’s Mambo Sauce.

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