Making child health and wellness a priority since 1901
The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. and most of its member Leagues are ardent supporters of the fight against the epidemic of childhood obesity. This activism falls under the auspices of the organization’s long-time commitment to improving the health and wellness of children.
To combat the problem, the organization believes it is necessary to educate children and their families about nutrition and fitness via hands-on initiatives such as its 15-year-old Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen program and other successful programs that have evolved out of Kids in the Kitchen such as The Junior League of Hartford’s Freshplace,The Junior League of Collin County’s Plano Community Garden, and The Junior League of Orlando’s support of the Health Food Retail Act, among many others.
The initiative is grounded in the belief that children (and families) empowered with the knowledge of how to feed and exercise their bodies will be less likely to become obese and subsequently suffer many associated health risks.
Inspired by The Junior League of Calgary’s Junior Chefs program, which began in 2001, the Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen initiative and others like it are now active in 200 locations around the world. They provide lessons and demonstrations in the preparation of healthy meals and snacks in partnership with local organizations, chefs and nutritionists.
Used by some Junior Leagues as a spring board for building childhood nutrition programs that address hunger, fitness, gardening, and life skills, the initiative is now undergoing a Phase 2 expansion in breadth, scope and resources. The expansion will enable Junior Leagues to make a greater impact on the communities they serve and to lend their expertise to the building of programs that address other aspects of wellness.