Westfield High School senior, Kathleen McCutcheon, recently achieved the Girl
Scout Gold Award for writing and translating a bi-lingual cookbook, as well as
presenting to elementary school children the importance of eating healthy.
McCutcheon’s presentation to the elementary school students showed examples of healthy alternatives to food they eat everyday and options that can help them live a healthy lifestyle.
“Obesity is a major issue in America. Children do not realize that the choices they are making are unhealthy and they often get into bad habits at young ages,” she said. “By teaching these kids what they can do to eat more nutritious meals I hope to give them the knowledge to make better choices in the future – and they can teach their parents what they have learned.”
In writing her cookbook, McCutcheon spent winter and spring testing out recipes and chose the ones that were both healthy and tasty.
She also spent time translating the recipes from English to Spanish, which she ran by her high school Spanish teacher to ensure it was correct. She worked with students at a school in Elizabeth and felt it was important to have the book in both languages since Spanish is the predominant second language they speak in their homes.
Additionally, McCutcheon had the books professionally printed and laid out the design of the cookbook with a graphic designer. The project took over 95 hours to complete.
The Gold Award is the highest award achievable in Girl Scouting and McCutcheon will be presented with the award at recognition ceremony in June. She is a member of Girl Scout Troop 40099.
To keep the project ongoing, McCutcheon created an informational bulletin board to display in the nurses office at the Elizabeth school and her presentation and cookbook will remain at the school for use in other classes. Her cookbooks were also distributed to a pediatric clinic nurse in Staten Island in order to spread the message of healthy habits.