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Q & A: Talking “Chop” with Sally Sampson

January 26, 2012

We heard about ChopChop a few years ago when it was in its infancy.  “The Fun Cooking Magazine For Families”– that’s their slogan. With their mission to educate kids to cook and be nutritionally literate, empower them to actively participate as health partners with their families, and help establish and support better eating habits for a lifetime of good nutrition, how can you not love ChopChop?!

Sally Sampson, who co-authored 21 cookbooks and wrote for several magazines, wanted to find a way to have more impact on kids’ health, so in 2010 she took her years of industry know-how and created ChopChop.  Today, this quarterly nonprofit magazine is growing by leaps and bounds. It can be found in doctor’s offices, homes and schools across the US and has even earned the endorsement of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

We thought it would be great to connect with Sally to learn a bit more about the magazine and website.  So, without further ado, let’s let Sally fill you in on the rest of this positive story.

OLDWAYS:  ChopChop calls itself “The Fun Cooking Magazine for FAMILIES.” Can you tell us why you started ChopChop and what you’re trying to do with this great magazine and website?
SALLY:  I am a cookbook writer who wanted to use my skills to do something more meaningful than just write recipes (not that there is anything wrong with that).  I was sure that I could help address obesity by getting doctors to “prescribe” cooking during well child visits and thereby, get kids to cook with the adults in their lives. I began working toward this goal and so far I would say it is going pretty well!

OLDWAYS:  Your hands-on philosophy for getting kids cooking and eating healthy is so in line with what we do here at Oldways! What messages seem to resonate most with your readers?
SALLY:  I think parents have been looking for ways to engage their kids in their own health and we provide a very fun and accessible path. We really only have positive messages, no finger wagging.

OLDWAYS:  You don’t do calorie counts or post nutrition content – which we find refreshing. Can you explain why?
SALLY:  We are focused on getting kids to cook real food and don’t want them focused on nutrition facts. While it’s important for people to understand them, we don’t want to make it about that. If they are really interested, we encourage them to do the math themselves!

OLDWAYS:  Since you founded the magazine almost two years ago, what are the biggest positive changes you have seen in children’s nutrition education?
SALLY:  There is just so much more of it. People understand now that you have to get kids involved.

OLDWAYS:  How can people who share your desire to connects kids with good food help to support ChopChop?
SALLY:  Teachers can use ChopChop in their classrooms to teach math, science and English. Doctors can prescribe it to their patients. Companies can sponsor ChopChop so that we can continue to distribute it for free to low income families.

OLDWAYS:  Anything else you might like to share with our blog readers?
SALLY:  Eat real food with your family!!

We will eat to that! Thanks Sally!

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