The MLP Fierce Foods Academy Culinary Medicine Program
Culinary medicine is the practice of using real food to restore health, reduce side effects of conventional treatments, and improve long-term quality of life. Through culinary education, positive social support, and rigorous nutrition research, the goal is to turn food into a positive and beneficial facet of any lifestyle medicine intervention to improve quality of life and support disease prevention.
Structured, hands-on culinary education is recognized as a necessary condition for dietary health behavior change but, due to issues ranging from space challenges to safety concerns to the lack of well-vetted curriculum, its implementation is limited and uneven within hospital settings. MaxLove Project has been offering community-based Fierce Foods Academy cooking classes for the past five years but, in order to provide high-impact and far-reaching culinary medicine programs in pediatric healthcare settings, we've brought together an innovative collaborative to build this pioneering culinary medicine program and study the use of the “Charlie Cart” mobile teaching kitchen unit in the hospital setting.
This collaboration began with a partnership between MaxLove Project and The Charlie Cart Project, the inventors of the mobile teaching kitchen designed primarily for use in schools. MaxLove Project developed a community-based culinary medicine program in Orange County, CA with the goal of expanding to hospitals and communities across the nation. With limited access to culinary medicine educational opportunities in the hospital setting due to space constraints, safety concerns, etc. MLP found an ideal partner in The Charlie Cart Project (and the Charlie Cart tool itself) to innovate in this space. The Charlie Cart, a compact mobile teaching kitchen, is an ideal tool for a culinary medicine intervention in a space, such as a hospital, with significant constraints. The Charlie Cart tool is small, mobile, and affordable, making a feasibility pilot project possible. The Charlie Cart Project jumped on board to partner with MaxLove Project to bring their tool and modified curriculum into the hospital setting.
OUR CULINARY MEDICINE COLLABORATIVE:
• MaxLove Project, spearheading the philanthropic funding and underwriting of the hospital-based program, leading the effort to bring the Charlie Cart to children’s hospitals
• Clinical Nutrition at CHOC Children’s Hospital, the pediatric dietetics experts have tailored The Charlie Cart curriculum to fit into hospital use and will also be formally studying the pilot project in late 2017, early 2018
• The Child Life team at Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah, testing the curriculum modified by Clinical Nutrition at CHOC Children’s as well as feasibility of deployment by a Child Life program
• The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Pediatrics, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health
• The Charlie Cart Project, designer of the Charlie Cart and developers/owners of the copyrighted school-centered curriculum that MaxLove Project is funding to expand into hospitals. Charlie Cart will review, advise and support curriculum and program modifications and training program development for the pilot program.