NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In an orderly fashion, kids at the Kirkpatrick Community Center are learning the basics of meal prepping.

Lessons cover everything from hygiene to safe knife handling practices.

“We want to equip children with different variations of healthy vegetables and fruits and that’s what we want to introduce to this program,” Tiffanie Fletcher, program coordinator for the center, said.

About 200 students in under-served communities will be able to enjoy the free classes. Fletcher said the funding comes from the federally sponsored Child and Adult Care Food Program.

“It’s a funded program and they reimburse us for all meals that we do for our children, but one of the components in the application process is that we need to be teaching and helping children make those healthier choices,” she said.

For two years community centers across the city have offered free meals to children in after-school programs. Now at nine community centers, meal prep classes will be offered too.

“The classes are about healthy eating of course and also allowing children small techniques things that they can do at home, when their parents are away, or if they are watching younger children, or even if they have to meal prep,” Fletcher said.

The focus of the classes is teaching kids to prepare easy nutritious meals.

“The kids are excited when they come in to be able to interact and do recipes and to cook and then go home and tell parents what they learned,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher said Metro Parks’ food program has plans to grow and expand to more community centers next year.