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Healthy Cookbook Made By Teens, For Teens

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - March is National Nutrition Month, and a North Texas hospital is celebrating by sponsoring the publishing of a new cookbook which helps teach kids how to eat healthier. The program is all about making healthy snacks while having fun in the kitchen.

Luz Mata plans on being a professional chef, now that she found a love for cooking through classes at Rockwall High School. The 18-year-old did not previously care much about the culinary arts, or eating healthy. "I was mostly eating candy and chips, junk food," she explained. But now, her eating habits have changed. "When I was little, it would have been great to have stuff like this."

Through a program created by Medical City Children's Hospital, dieticians visit campuses like Rockwall High School, where aspiring chefs are then challenged to create a healthy and easy snack recipe that could go into a cookbook aimed at fourth-grade and fifth-grade students. It is called "Kids Teaching Kids."

For students to get into the cookbook, they must develop creative and delicious dishes. But there are some limitations. According to the rules, every snack must be under 200 calories and use less than 15 grams of sugar. Chef and teacher Cody Hayes said that students were stumped, at first. "They were a little hesitant," Hayes said, "because they're used to sugary, salty snacks, just like a lot of students in our community."

"Sugar is really sweet, and we couldn't really use it," recalled Mata. "So, I thought of honey, and that honey's really kind of natural and healthy. So, it kind of made it easier and it tasted good." Mata's simple recipe for Frozen Yogurt Fruit Pops was selected for the book, and it is already getting rave reviews.

Several other schools across North Texas are taking part in the "Kids Teaching Kids" program and book. You can visit the program's official site for additional information, including downloads of some of the healthy and tasty recipes.

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