Teen chef phenomenon haile thomas impacts the world, one ingredient at a time – atlanta blackstar

Teef Chef Haile Thomas

In 2008, 7-year-old Haile Thomas took a strong interest in healthy eating after her father was diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes.

“Having access to healthy foods and beverages proper nutritional education and physical activity helped cure my dad,” Thomas said in her speech during the daylong forum Closing the Gap in Childhood Obesity: A Forum Without Walls. She mentioned that making sure kids in her community

have the same access has become the main focus of her advocacy.

A few years later, Thomas learned about childhood obesity and that more and more kids are being diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes and heart disease.

“I learned that for the first time in two centuries, children were predicted to live shorter lifespans than the adults in our lives,” Thomas wrote on her website. This information further piqued her interest and influenced her to do her part to aid in reducing the amount of kids suffering from diet-related diseases.

The health youth advocate started helping her mother in the kitchen at the age of five.

“I started asking questions about where my food comes from and what I was eating,” Thomas told TODAY. com.

Now 14-years-old, Thomas is the founder and executive director of the non-for-profit HAPPY (Healthy Active Positive Purposeful Youth) Organization, Inc. The organization’s mission is to improve the health and wellness of children by implementing programs that teach kids how to cook healthy meals and encourage fun, physical activity. The organization also engages in community service through a partnership with Avalon Organic Gardens by supporting 100 Tucson families in receiving weekly shares of local, organic grown produce for one year.

Besides, hosting her online show, “Kids Can Cook,” which teaches kids how to prepare nourishing meals for themselves using simple ingredients, Thomas travels across the nation speaking to children about healthy eating practices. She recently spoke at TEDxKIDS in Canada.

With all of her ambitious endeavors, Thomas’s big moment was being asked by First Lady Michelle Obama to represent the Let’s Move! campaign and having a recipe she created served at the White House. The talented, young chef was also featured on Rachael vs. Guy Kid’s Cook Off TV show. In an effort to make an even larger impact, Thomas is on the advisory board the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

“Haile is one of our best [advisory board members],” Chelsea Clinton told Rachael Ray during an appearance with Thomas on The Rachael Ray Show. “She has done so much not only to help her own family to be healthier but to help educate other kids about kids can really help their lives and but also influence the choices that their families make.”