Lots of readers want healthy cooking classes in schools

Maliyah Gregg, 11, right, stirs the minestrone soup as Jayla Reeves, left, and Kayla Reid, center, watch her technique. St Martin de Porres School. Maureen rejuvinates her cooking blog, cooking with 5th and 6th graders at St. Martin de Porres school in North Phila 02/27/2013 ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )

Here are some of their thoughts:

I loved your column about your Cooking 101 class.  You are giving these girls lessons that will impact their lives, and those of their family, in a most positive way.  I am only distressed at how few are able to take advantage of this opportunity.  If you feel by the end of the semester that the project is truly worth the effort, perhaps you could enlist others (like me) who love to cook, to help out with other schools.

 I have been cooking w my kids (and their friends) since they were toddlers,  in fact, I bought a pasta maker at fante's instead of a play dough fun factory and they would make pasta at least once a week even before they were in pre-school. And I am now teaching their college friends, several of Matt's buddies (and Matt himself) want me to make them a recipe book before grad.

As a doc and a nurse and a mom, I am acutely concerned about the issues surrounding food and nutrition in our society. Your article touched me deeply on many levels.

I work M, Tu and Sat. I am a volunteer eye doc in Guatemala, and would love to get involved with something here.
PLEASE!!! Let me know if you want any helpers!!! I take direction well, enjoy kids and am safety minded. I could see that my daughter Julie might be interested as well (soph at St Joe's). We love to cook together.

Hi Maureen - I very much enjoyed your story and pictures on making minestrone soup at St. Martin de Porres.  The  students comments were so interesting and honest. I am involved with an inner city school and your example is one that many schools should imitate.

Congratulations! I think every school should have the opportunity for students to cook with a professional leader like yourself.

Loved the article.  What you are doing with these girls is great.  Experiences like this are what is needed and SO beneficial to the girls.  I'm sure you are loving it, also.  We need more such activities instead of the glitz and glitter of one time shows.  I understand Marc Vetri is also a hands on person with his school programs.  It is a slow process, but we need to start slowly, with sincere, caring people.

I'm a registered dietitian with a former career in home economics at Campbells.  I read your article and was really impressed.  I am now 'retired' from clinical work at Cooper hospital and am on 2 steering committees at Urban Promise school in Camden.  I am more focused on health and wellness with the children and education.  We are working on some grants to teach nutrition/cooking and building a cafeteria.  A future goal is to have some classes with the kids such as you are doing in North Philly. 

I give you credit for venturing into North Philadelphia and preparing a vegetable laden recipe.  I have witnessed many of the lunches the parents send with their children to school in Camden (actually, not just Camden) and they are a nutritional nightmare.  Anyway, I hope to read more about this venture and ask... if you have any insight or advice to someone who plans to do a similar class please don't hold back.  I would appreciate any input.