On Wednesday, the 49ers partnered with the Junior League of Palo Alto Mid-Peninsula for a Kids in the Kitchen event to demonstrate the importance of healthy eating and physical fitness for students at the 49ers Academy located in East Palo Alto.
Jenna and Mara York, daughters of team owners Denise and John York, along with 49ers alumni Dennis Brown, Greg Clark and Guy McIntyre spent their afternoon demonstrating healthy eating habits and assisting with a youth football camp for the nearly 200 youth in attendance.
"Part of our mission is to help youth understand the need for living a healthy lifestyle and being active for at least 60 minutes a day, as part of the NFL's Play60 program," said 49ers Director of Community Relations and 49ers Foundation Joanne Pasternack. "Kids in the Kitchen is a great way to show youth how to not only be health conscious but also to provide them with physical activities they can do daily."
The event started with cooking and tasting classes for students in Kindergarten through fifth grade hosted by the Yorks. It was followed by the 49ers Junior Gatorade Camp in the Academy's multipurpose room which included events ranging from football drills hosted by the alumni, to freeze dance with the Gold Rush cheerleaders to hula-hooping. Sourdough Sam also made a special appearance to support the youth in their efforts to be active and live a healthy lifestyle.
McIntyre expressed the importance of the 49ers hosting an event like this to help change the habits of the kids in order to stay healthy and active.
"This is all part of a healthy lifestyle," he explained. "If they can get out and run around for 60 minutes and run around for awhile, they can use up some of that excess energy and burn up some of that sugar that they're eating. They can become a more rounded and healthier individual."
Following the football drills, the parents filed into the multipurpose room and were given a cooking demonstration by Chef Marco Fossati from the Four Seasons East Palo Alto. With the display, the parents were able to take what they learned throughout the day about healthy eating and implement it into their everyday lives. Chef Fossati even showed the group how to make pasta sauce in a nutritious way.
The goal of the Kids in the Kitchen initiative, which is supported by The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. and its member Leagues, is to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues.
"Maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle is extremely important for today's youth," said Stefanie Bruggeman, president, Junior League of Palo Alto•Mid-Peninsula. "By partnering with the San Francisco 49ers, the Junior League is able to further promote the development, confidence and growth of these children through healthy eating and cooking, as well as physical fitness."
The event hosted approximately 200 youth from both the 49ers Academy and Costano Elementary School, which shares the campus and mission of the 49ers Academy. The 49ers Academy was founded in 1996 to serve sixth, seventh and eighth grade students from East Palo Alto. Defined by educational excellence, the 49ers Academy maximizes the potential of every student by emphasizing self-discipline, respect, and individualized academic attention to help them master core subjects and prepare for high school.