Cooking for Children’s Health and Behavior

Wichita, KS—Events are nothing new at GreenAcres Market, whether it’s a wine tasting or seminar to highlight supplements, healing oils and other natural products. In their newest program "Cooking with Dr. Anne," a series of four free cooking classes, the market hopes to bring attention to the way nutrition can positively impact children’s behavior, learning and mood.

“Behavior and allergy problems with children seem to be a growing problem, especially when it impacts Autistic youngsters. Being wheat and gluten free helps some of these children immensely,” says Pam Porvaznik, a writer at GreenAcres Markets. “Teaching parents how to cook for children with mood, depression and other issues helps empower parents, since some have reached the meltdown point and really don’t know what to do.”

Twenty-five people attended the first seminar on Oct. 6 at GreenAcres Market’s flagship store in the Bradley Fair shopping center in Wichita, KS. A live cooking demonstration (a main course of organic zucchini with rice penne pasta and pesto sauce, served with grass-fed beef sausage, and a dessert of organic yogurt flavored with local honey, walnuts, cinnamon and organic fruit) and Q&A session were led by Anne Zauderer, DC, a chiropractor at Riordan Clinic who specializes in pediatric care for children with Autism, mood and allergy problems.

Though the program was expected to run for an hour, “the audience wouldn’t stop asking questions. Music to our ears, of course,” Porvaznik says. It ended up lasting 2 ½ hours, with avid participation until the store had to close up for the night. Future classes will be held on Oct. 20 and Nov. 3 and 10.

The cooking seminars are presented in collaboration with the alternative medicine health facility Riordan Clinic and are meant to bring attention the clinic’s new program, Optimal Kids, a medical, nutrition and lifestyle program which involves a physical exam, detailed health history and lab work to identify nutritional treatment for children with behavior and health challenges. GreenAcres Market is also funding three $800 scholarships to needs-based families to offset the cost of the $1,680 program.

It’s an important issue for GreenAcres Market co-owner Barbara Hoffman, who “believes firmly in educating both parents and children to the ways proper nutrition can address many of the issues facing kids today,” according to Porvaznik.

“Starting with the kids is one way to address some of these problems. We have invited both parents and kids to Dr. Anne’s classes in hopes of reaching at least one person in the family,” she says. “The GreenAcres mission is to ‘make a difference’ in the lives of one person at a time.”

Published in WholeFoods Magazine December 2015 (Online, 10/14/15)