FamilyCook, A Brief History
FamilyCook Productions (FCP) was created by a visionary leader and food journalist inspired by her own children and challenging life experiences: Lynn Fredericks.
Being newly divorced, I was determined to find a way to connect as a family with my two young sons. One stressful evening while trying to cook dinner, my two year old tugged at my leg wanting my attention. I thrust some herbs into his little hands and taught him to remove the leaves from the stems. He was transfixed and I felt relief to have an assistant in the kitchen. It was obvious how proud he felt to help me. This changed everything and soon his older brother began helping choose vegetables and meat at the super market and our family cooking journey had begun. What started as family engagement became a new career and mission to share the importance of bonding over food to human health and well-being.
FamilyCook is a leading innovator in the movement to change family dynamics around food by pioneering the notion of ‘family cooking.’ Our range of teaching kitchen curricula for pre-K to adult have effectively demonstrated how festive, one-pot, multicultural recipes appeal to audiences of every age and socio-economic background. We develop sustainable solutions that build over time, to transform communities and create a culture of wellness.
Over two decades, our FamilyCook Team has developed successful strategies and curricula for nutrition/culinary education used in schools, community based organizations, farmers’ markets, health departments, early childhood and WIC. Programs have been replicated in 30+ states, over 300 sites and reached over 310,000 adults and youth across the US. Partners have included NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, National Institutes of Health, The Connecticut State Department of Public Health, HealthCorps, the Ford Foundation, the American Heart Association, the American Dairy Association Dairy Council, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, University of California at Davis and many more.
As our programing began to have popularity and reliable results across multiple communities, we elected to tackle the age group that was avoided by most other organizations: adolescents. We identified the very characteristics that make youth challenging – being fiercely independent, only trusting their peers for new information, and a quest for mastery in something relevant – and used them to our programmatic advantage. Now a decade old, our phenomenally successful Teen Battle Chef program has demonstrated a sustained effect among alumni – some of whom have been out of the program for 7 years.