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Diabetes is not part of your heritage. Neither is heart disease.

What is in your heritage is a healthy heart, strong body, extraordinary energy, vibrant and delicious foods, and a long, healthy life.

Oldways’ innovative cooking class program, A Taste of African Heritage, brings the African Heritage Diet Pyramid to life, showing people how to eat and cook healthfully, traditionally, and enjoyably through hands-on experience. With lesson plans that simultaneously teach history, nutrition, and cooking techniques, the program introduces participants to the rich cultural history of African heritage foods while providing them the tools they need to adopt this traditional way of eating for better health in modern day life.

A Taste of African Heritage is more than just a series of cooking classes. It is a new kind of wellness program designed to reconnect participants with vibrant ways of eating and living that once promoted the health of African American ancestors everywhere.

ATOAH Annual Reports

2017 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report

2012-2015 Program Report

How Does A Taste of African Heritage Work?

A Taste of African Heritage Detroit

A Taste of African Heritage (ATOAH) is a six-lesson nutrition and cooking program. Most programs run over the course of six weeks, offering one class per week. Each lesson is 1 hour and 45 minutes long, and covers a specific food group from the African Heritage Diet Pyramid.

Lesson 1: Traditional Herbs and Spices
Lesson 2: Greens
Lesson 3: Whole Grains
Lesson 4: Beans and Rice
Lesson 5: Tubers and Stews
Lesson 6: Fruits and Vegetables

  • Class schedule: 1 class per week, for 6 weeks

  • Number of recipes per class: 2–3

  • Class components: Each class is divided up into 1) an intro, 2) an historical and nutritional discussion, 3) a cooking lesson, and 4) a time to eat together and reflect. 
  • Tracking success: Using confidential lifestyle and physical health evaluations, instructors and students track their success to make sure that A Taste of African Heritage helps its participants make lasting changes for their health and wellbeing.

How Does A Children’s Taste of African Heritage Work?

A Children’s Taste of African Heritage (ACTOAH) is a seven-lesson nutrition and cooking program. Most programs run over the course of seven weeks, offering one class per week. Each lesson is 1 hour and 45 minutes long, and covers a specific food group from the African Heritage Diet Pyramid. The first lesson is a cultural introduction to the African Heritage Diet Pyramid.

Lesson 1: African Heritage
Lesson 2: Traditional Herbs and Spices
Lesson 3: Greens
Lesson 4: Whole Grains
Lesson 5: Beans and Rice
Lesson 6: Tubers and Mashes
Lesson 7: Fruits, Vegetables and a Healthy Lifestyle

  • Class schedule: 1 class per week, for 7 weeks

  • Number of recipes per class: 0–2

  • Class components: Each class is divided up into 1) an introduction, 2) an historical and nutritional discussion, 3) a cooking lesson and/or sensory activity, and 4) a time to eat together and reflect. 
  • Tracking success: Using confidential lifestyle evaluations, instructors and students track their success.

 

Who Is A Taste of African Heritage For?

A Taste of African Heritage is designed for people of all ages and interests, including:

  • Anyone who wants to add more flavor and nutrition to their life.
  • Anyone interested in learning more about African heritage and culinary history.
  • Friends wanting to get healthy or to start a cooking club together.
  • Teens and preteens just learning how to cook.
  • Seniors craving the foods of their childhoods and a taste of the old ways.

The best way to picture our  classes is…to see our pictures! Browse through our ATOAH Class Photo Gallery, and imagine yourself in a class.

How Can I Attend A Taste of African Heritage Classes?

If you’re ready to experience A Taste of African Heritage for yourself, we’re ready to have you! Check out our class site directory to locate a class near you. And if you can’t find one happening now, don’t despair! New classes are added all the time, so check back with us regularly. 

Who Can Teach A Taste of African Heritage?

A Taste of African Heritage is an excellent program for anyone working in nutrition, education, food service, faith-based initiatives, community outreach work, or public health and wellness. You don’t have to be a chef or nutrition professional. Lesson plans have easily-followed, step-by-step guides for preparing and teaching, and we like to think of the recipes as “Level 1 Cooking” – as simple as they are delicious.

What Do I Need To Teach A Taste of African Heritage Classes? 


In 2019, we moved into the next phase of our heritage diet programming and began licensing it on an annual basis. There are 2 ways to bring A Taste of African Heritage to Your Community:

Licensing

Organizations interested in teaching A Taste of African Heritage or A Children’s Taste of African Heritage can license the curriculum on an annual basis which will allow the licensee to download a PDF version of the curriculum, the trifold brochure and required entrance/exit surveys for printing.

  • Standard Single-Site License: For community health centers, SNAP-Ed providers, and other local organizations/small businesses. $300 per year per program ($300 for A Taste of African Heritage, $300 for A Children’s Taste of African Heritage). Contact Paola@oldwayspt.org to learn more.
  • Multi-Site License: For larger national organizations, or organizations with multiple sites. Contact Kelly@oldwayspt.org to learn more about pricing.
  • Scholarship License: For passionate community members who volunteer their time to teach, but aren’t affiliated with an organization, there are a limited number of scholarship licenses available. Contact Paola@oldwayspt.org to learn more.

Purchasing the Curriculum 

Alternatively, organizations can purchase the printed adult student handbooks and teacher’s manual and children’s student handbooks and teacher’s manual in our webstore with or without a license. Please note that photocopying the printed curriculum is a violation of the copyright. The minimum order of student handbooks is 15. Classes are also encouraged to purchase the African Heritage Pyramid poster to display in the class, and purchase or download the trifold brochures.