We are taking an innovative approach to our student programs, through both in-person and on-demand cooking and nutrition education classes taught by trained chefs, as well as providing training on our curriculum to caregivers, educators, and healthcare professionals.

Nutrition Forward Programs

Nutrition education is the cornerstone to healthier communities. These programs give participants the tools to make better nutritional choices by specifically focusing on nutrition basics, meal affordability, healthy substitutions and local grocery store navigation.

Small Bites

Healthy Snacks Nutrition Education Series

This nutrition education program teaches PreK-8th grade students about nutrition and healthy snack making through a series of eight hands-on lessons. Each lesson is aligned to national education standards and gives students the opportunity to connect math, language arts, and science concepts to interactive experiences that provide tools to live longer, healthier lives. This program is available on-demand, virtually and in-person (in select markets).

Educator Training

Professional Development Course

This two-hour training prepares educators, youth development staff, or student/family support workers to implement Small Bites, and equip them to be healthy role models, contributing to the improved health of the school or community environment. Training includes information on nutrition, healthy cooking demonstrations, and guidelines for how to integrate nutrition education into core content. Teachers earn professional development credits for the training in Common Threads’ largest markets. Printed materials provided by Common Threads. This program is available both in-person* (designated markets) and virtually* depending on open opportunities.

Caregiver Workshops

Healthy & Wellness Training

This program engages parents and caregivers to encourage healthy eating habits at home and in their own community. Topics include: basic nutrition, grocery shopping on a budget, and cooking with kids. The workshops have flexible formatting that allows them to be incorporated in other in-person parent related programs, like parent meetings, school wellness council events, and health fairs. This program is available both in-person (designated markets) and virtually*.

Hands-on Culinary Programs

Knowledge is power! We work with professional Chef Instructors to provide students, families and communities with in-person and virtual culinary classes, focusing on culturally-responsive nutritious recipes, cooking equipment, knife skills and kitchen safety.

Cooking Skills & World Cuisine

Advanced Student Cooking Class

This chef led program (ten two-hour lessons per class) engages 3rd-8th grade students’ tastes and minds through the exploration of the culture and cuisine of ten countries. In the kitchen, young chefs learn how to follow a recipe, prepare, and cook ingredients, and always leave the kitchen as clean as they found it. This Common Threads Chef led program challenges students to use a wide variety of cooking equipment and ensures that they know how to safely and effectively use each tool, including chef’s knives, graters, peelers, stoves, and ovens. Graduates of this program are able to cook a balanced healthy meal. This program is only offered in-person within our select markets*.

Family Cooking Class

Cooking Series for Everyone

Our Family Cooking Class (FCC) is a Chef led class that teaches parents and kids how to cook healthy and affordable meals. The class focuses on family participation, healthy ingredient substitutions, and convenient cost-saving recipes. The goal of FCC is to teach families how to cook together and incorporate healthy habits at home, while maintaining their existing traditions. Classes are available in a series of 2 or 6 week classes and can accommodate up to 5-6 families. This program is only offered in-person within our select markets*.

Culinary Medicine Programs

Food is medicine! Good nutrition is an essential part of expanding current and future generations lifespans. These programs focus on the collaboration and advancement of culinary medicine in the healthcare industry combining the best of nutrition education and cooking skills for medical professionals and students.

Culinary Medicine: For Providers

Co-created with Northwestern Medicine, this course is designed to teach medical students and allied health sciences professionals about nutrition and healthy cooking through the lens of culinary medicine and community health. Culinary medicine is the utilization of a unique combination of nutrition and culinary knowledge to assist patients in achieving and maintaining optimal health. Through this course participants learn basic culinary skills, steps to create nutritious meals, relationships between food, health, and disease, and cultural competencies around nutrition. The participants also practice health coaching and teaching during both culinary and community class times.

Culinary Medicine: Patient Focused

This course is taught by a Chef Instructor and is designed for adult patients diagnosed with certain identified diseases. In this course patients are guided through detailed discussions on the nutritional needs of various diseases, meal planning, and cooking and eating the recipes as a class. Qualified diseases include: hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and pre-diabetes.

Culinary Medicine: High School Mentorship

This program focuses on healthy cooking and the exploration of nutrition-centric careers in healthcare for students in the 9th-12th grade. The program is chef-led and aims to:

  • Build personal nutrition and culinary skills through hands-on cooking classes
  • Expose students to nutrition related healthcare careers through job shadowing and internships
  • Foster health communication skills as HS students co-teach health-centric lessons to elementary and middle school students.


Are you a school, organization, caregiver, chef or educator interested in bringing Common Threads programs to your community? We have a variety of program options depending on your location. Get instant access to our curriculum through our online On-Demand or TEACH portal for educators and caregivers. For inquiries about any of our in-person programs facilitated by a Common Threads team member, please contact
Common Threads programming is a SNAP-Ed approved intervention designed to increase nutrition knowledge, vegetable consumption, and variety of vegetables consumed. We are encouraging anyone who is interested to enroll, complete the self-guided course then gain access to all our curriculum, downloads and resources. Learn how to get trained today at