Rainforest kids

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Kids learn about health and the rainforest

How to cook, preserve the environment and maintain a healthy lifestyle are all lessons many parents may want to teach their children and a unique Valley class is showing kids how to do all three.

The young chefs are learning all about fruits and vegetables and while we can grow many of these foods ourselves or buy them at the grocery store, these kids are learning why we still have a vested interest in preserving the rainforest.

The next time you and the family go grocery shopping at Sprouts Farmers Market, why not check out these free kids' cooking classes?

"We really want to focus on how do you have healthy kids and then how do you have a healthy sustainable environment that the kids will hopefully grow up in," Registered Dietitian Patti Milligan said.

The cooking classes are a part of the store's new program called, "Celebration of the Child."

"We want to have a campaign to unite the community and to teach about nutrition for kids, as well as cooking demos and the last element is really doing a donation campaign to raise money for the rainforest," Milligan said. "Children from 44 countries started to raise money to actually buy and preserve land in the rainforest."

The money raised will go to protect the Children's Eternal Rainforest. It's the largest private reserve in Costa Rica with 54,000 acres.

"There's over 3,000 fruits in the rainforest and there is a good chance they only grow there," Milligan said. "So if we do begin to continue at the level that we are cutting down the rainforest, they will be lost."

Some of those foods include Brazil nuts, mango, papayas, bananas and coconuts.

"You've got the lungs and the skin and you've got mangos and papaya that nourish that," Milligan said." We now have great evidence that pineapples and coconuts and coconut oil can be good for the joints and immune system."

The goal for all of the Sprouts stores in Arizona, California and Texas is to raise a quarter of a million dollars.

So what do some of these young chefs think about being a healthy kid overall?