Plant Junior Hosts Vegan Cooking Class to Teach Healthy Eating


Ava Satterfield

Junior Maggie Warren smiles as she instructs fellow Plant students. Warren hosted a vegan cooking class on Sunday, March 26 at the Prep of South Tampa for her Intuitive Teens Club.

Working to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, Junior Maggie Warren hosted a vegan cooking class for her Intuitive Teens Club. The class was held at The Prep of South Tampa on Sunday, March 26. By teaching healthy habits, Warren hopes to educate fellow teens about the importance of nutrition.  

“Being interested in nutrition and being a teen girl in today’s world, I knew that eating disorders and diet culture was a big problem in our society,” Warren said. “I was hoping that creating a club like Intuitive Teens where teens learned about nutritional science and eating disorder recovery and prevention methods would help to combat the grip diet culture and disordered eating has on teens.” 

Warren is in the process of earning her Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive.  

“I created Intuitive Teens as my Girl Scout Gold Award project,” Warren said. “I know that I wanted to do something about nutrition because I have been passionate about that for the past few years and want to work in that field when I am older.” 

In her Intuitive Teen Club meetings, Warren promotes healthy relationships with food. She worked with a nutritionist and eating disorder psychologist to construct lesson plans for her club meetings. Warren recognized problems with diet trends among teenagers and hopes to debunk them through nutrition education.  

“In meetings, we focused on mindful and intuitive eating to encourage members to listen to themselves,” Warren said. “We also talked about ways to set valuable goals and avoid polarizing eating into healthy or unhealthy. By combining all of these meetings, I hope to educate teens about how to recover from and prevent eating disorders and prepare them to teach others the same lessons.” 

Intuitive Teen Club members applied their nutrition knowledge to the kitchen at Warren’s cooking class. Warren said the class took her hours of planning but was worth it because of the great turnout and positive feedback from her peers.  

“I hosted the cooking class because I wanted members to put all the things we had talked about at meetings into action,” Warren said. “We made all kinds of food that I had hoped would make people more excited about eating and highlight the various reasons why people should eat—not just for health and hunger, but also for memories, community, and experimentation. It also taught members how to use foods that provide adequate nutrients while still enjoying delicious foods. I also had some people tell me their parents wanted them to make the recipes for their families which is always fun and shows me that they are able to spread my message to others.” 

Sophomore Reese Clark said she enjoyed Warren’s cooking class. As a member of the Plant Crew Team, Clark understands the value of good nutrition for athletes.   

“Maggie made the food easy to make, and we got to take lots food home to try,” Clark said. “It was a really good way to introduce people to vegan recipes. It’s really important to have good nutrition so that you feel well both during and after workouts. Eating properly allows you to perform better and become a stronger athlete.” 

Similarly, sophomore and student athlete Zoe Schleelein attended the vegan cooking class and recognized the significance of healthy eating.  

“I loved the class, it was a fun way to get out of the house and make delicious vegan food,” Schleelein said. “The recipes were quick and easy and I really enjoyed making them. It is important to practice healthy eating and good nutrition because you’re working out every day and using those good fibers to function. You definitely burn a lot of calories as a student athlete so it is a good way to get them back in a healthy manor.” 

Warren is teaching important life skills about healthy eating habits, and her knowledge is valued by her community.  

“My overall goal is to teach teens in my community how to escape diet culture and create healthy relationships with food, their body image, and other teens,” Warren said.