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From Plant to Plate, Teen Moms Learning Benefits of Healthy Eating

Chef Jeremy Ashby shows students how to prepare carrots for a healthy meal.
Chef Jeremy Ashby shows students how to prepare carrots for a healthy meal.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Chef Jeremy Ashby of Azur Restaurant led a cooking demonstration Wednesday for students at the Lexington Family Care Center, showing them how to prepare broccoli mac-n-cheese, carrots, almond-crusted chicken tenders, and cornbread.

Ashby's class was part of series of talks in the Plant to Plate program, an educational project at the center that's taken the classroom to the garden and kitchen. For the past several weeks students have learned to grow their own vegetables and how to shop for healthy food on a budget.

Plant to Plate caught the interest of 18-year-old Sharon Aguilar, who says she likes cooking healthy food for her family.

“I mean it might be easier to go to McDonald’s and it may be cheaper, but in the long run it’s better.”

Aguilar, who has a 1-year-old daughter and is now growing her own lettuce at home, says the most challenging thing about meal planning is finding something everyone can agree on.

The Family Care Center hopes to make the Plant to Plate project a permanent part of the student curriculum.

“This is the kind of thing that I think they will be able to use when they go home. And doesn’t require a lot of planning; it doesn’t require a lot of money. And that’s what they need. They need healthy ideas for dinner that are doable,” says center director Joanna Rodes.

Plant to Plate is the brainchild of a group participating in Leadership Lexington, a local professional development program. The project has also included talks from a registered dietician and a local farmer about ways the teens and their children can build healthy eating habits.

Lexington native Brenna Angel anchored local morning newscasts for WUKY through May 13. She joined the station in March 2010 after previously working for WHAS-AM in Louisville.