YUM-O! empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking.
Make extra, as these tasty meatballs won't last long! They have all your favorite fall and winter spices. Serve with gravy or cranberry sauce, for dipping.
Serves 6-8 as an appetizer
These turkey burgers taste like a whole turkey dinner!
You can eat this bright and nutritious pesto pasta hot, room temperature or cold for lunch the next day!
How can people find out more about Yum-o!? How is information disseminated?
This website is the central place where Yum-o! will provide information and tools to get people started, such as recipes, tips for the kitchen and ideas to inspire change in readers’ schools and communities.
In addition to the interactive website community, we’ll also be reaching out through our monthly newsletter (click here to sign up!) and our partner organizations. We also have takeaway items available such as our Kitchen Road Map that can be hung up in the kitchen to keep easy reminders right at hand, or passed around at social events, schools and community centers to help spread the word.
How is Yum-o! different from the work that Rachael Ray has done in the past?
Through Yum-o! and our partnerships with other organizations, we’re really focusing on kids and their families. For example, we’re reaching out directly to kids and their families through our website, where we’re creating an interactive space where readers can not only find information that Yum-o! cooks up, but where they can contribute their own ideas and stories as well. We’re talking about how to make food fun, fast and affordable, and we want the site to be a real community where kids and parents partner with us to share their recipes and their great ideas.
We’re also teaming up with partner organizations to show kids and their families how to improve food choices at their schools and in their communities. And looking at the bigger picture around food, Yum-o! is working on getting good food in the bellies of hungry children by supporting highly effective nationwide programs that are working to alleviate childhood hunger. Finally, we’re looking at funding innovative cooking programs in our schools and educational opportunities for kids who are interested in pursuing careers in the food industry. Yum-o! is really about empowering kids and their families to develop healthier relationships with food and cooking overall.
How is Yum-o! making a real difference in the lives of children and families?
We get letters from kids of all ages telling us that they have a passion for cooking and that they are eager to learn more. Kids gain confidence and self-esteem by creating recipes and cooking in the kitchen – whatever it is – a snack, a meal, a dessert, you name it! They see the results of their creativity and improvisation, and build relationships with each other and their families by cooking together as a team. And the bottom line is that whatever you make yourself – with good ingredients – is going to be better tasting, better for you, more affordable and more fun than most things you can buy. Yum-o! offers ideas that help kids and their families spend time together sharing, preparing and making memories and building skills that will last a lifetime. When we receive letters telling us how we’ve helped people start cooking or that they have been inspired to be creative with one of our recipes, we know that Yum-o! is really making a difference.
We’re also teaming up with partner organizations to show kids and their parents how to improve food choices at their schools and in their communities. And looking at the bigger picture around food, Yum-o! is working on getting good food in the bellies of hungry children and showing their families how to get the most out of the food they’ve got. There are 12 million hungry children in this country, and we will be playing a role in reducing that number. Finally, we’re looking at funding innovative cooking programs in our schools and educational opportunities for kids who are interested in pursuing careers in the food industry. Yum-o! is about an overall approach to empowering kids and their families to develop healthier relationships with food and cooking, so we’re able to see that impact at many different levels.
It’s a great thing to want to feed hungry children, but taking it one step further, how does Yum-o! plan to educate these kids and families to make the most of their food and to stretch their food budget. And what does Yum-o! suggest for families with limited or low incomes who may rely on fast food or canned/boxed foods?
Canned and boxed foods aren’t necessarily bad; in fact, we use things like boxed pasta and canned tomatoes in a lot of our recipes. And even at fast food restaurants, there are some choices that are better than others. Understanding how to prepare food in their own kitchens helps kids and families make better choices when they are dining out, too.
As for feeding hungry kids, we’re working with highly respected national partners who have some really effective programs that address this issue. And here at Yum-o!, we’re educating kids and their families directly by teaching them about kitchen basics and how to prepare meals efficiently, which saves both money and time. We’re big on getting the most out of recipes and meals. We love it when we figure out how to make something once and then transform the leftovers into a whole new dish! If we can teach someone how to stretch meat, fruit or vegetables into a few different dishes, that may make a few extra meals. This is information that we all can use to make the most of what we’ve got.
What gave Rachael Ray the idea to start Yum-o!?
Rachael’s mother Elsa was the oldest of ten kids in a family that gathered every day to cook and eat delicious home-cooked meals. Continuing this tradition, Rachael also grew up seeing how good food can improve the quality of your life: her grandfather grew all of the food he cooked, and cooking and eating together with her family made for great memories and time for sharing and storytelling. Reflecting on the way she grew up, Rachael says, “I was just lucky enough to be my mom’s kid!”
When Rachael was young, Elsa worked in restaurants, and Rachael remembers being attached to her mother’s hip while she stirred the pots. As a teenager, she and her mother wanted to teach people who lived on a shoestring budget how to be able to cook and eat great food on a small budget; their plan was to call it “Shoestrings.” Years later, when Oprah was telling Rachael about her work in Africa, she said, “You need to do something that matters to you,” which made Rachael think of Shoestrings. Inspired by this idea, Rachael formed Yum-o! as a way to use food and her love of cooking to give back to the world.
What is the ultimate goal for Yum-o!?
Our goal is to empower kids and families across the country with the knowledge and confidence they need to get in the kitchen and prepare meals in a way that fits into their lifestyle and budget. To that end, we are putting great recipes and ideas out there, listening to parents’ and kids’ concerns about cooking and nutrition and working to engage parents in what their kids are eating both at school and at home.
Beyond that, we want to see a meaningful reduction in the number of hungry kids by working with our partners across the country to ensure that kids have the food they need to grow and learn. Finally, we want to ensure that kids have the opportunity to learn more about cooking and food in their schools, and have the means to continue to learn should they choose to pursue careers in the food industry. Cook, Feed, Fund, that’s what Yum-o! is all about.
Who is the main audience for Yum-o!?
We are focusing on reaching out to kids and their families. Today's kids and their families are pressed for time. Many don't know how to cook or assemble basic meals or are simply too busy and tired to spend much time in the kitchen. In addition, easy access to inexpensive food with low nutritional value has caused eating habits to worsen. However, most kids and parents are eager to make better food choices if given the necessary tools. Yum-o! offers tools and resources to enable kids and their families to take control of their meals and make better food choices.
Does Yum-o! have any job or internship opportunities available?
Yum-o! does not have any open positions at this time. You are encouraged to check back here for information as opportunities become available.
We also suggest that you have a look in our How Cool Is That? section on our website, where you may find other organizations in your area that have open positions or internship opportunities.
I noticed that you highlight organizations on the website. How can I get mine highlighted?
If you haven’t already, check out the organizations in the How Cool Is That? section of our website to get a feel for information that we include about the organizations we feature. Once you’ve had a look, please email us to let us know about the great work that your organization is doing. We receive many submissions but do update the site as frequently as possible. We hope to be reading about your organization soon!
How do I take action to make changes in my school system?
We are excited about your interest in learning how to make a difference in your school system and encourage you to visit the How Cool Is That? section of our website to see what other schools and communities are up to. In addition, we suggest that you contact our partner, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, to learn more about their Healthy Schools program. We hope that you will be inspired by the creative ideas on our site and find practical tips for initiating your own ideas and programs in your school system.
What can I do in my neighborhood or community to support Yum-o!’s mission?
Thank you for your interest in learning how to make a difference in your community. We encourage you to visit the How Cool Is That? section of our website to see what other people and organizations are up to in their neighborhoods and communities. In addition, we suggest that you check out our Partners page to learn more about these organizations and how you can get involved in their work. We get inspired every day by the great ideas that people are initiating in their communities, and hope that you will find the people and organizations featured on our site inspiring, too.
How can I make a donation to Yum-o!
Thank you for supporting our mission with a financial contribution! You may make a donation to Yum-o! through our secure online donation tool, where you’ll have the opportunity to make a donation on your behalf or in honor of a friend or family member.
To make a donation via postal mail, please send a check made payable to The YUM-O Organization, Inc. to the following address:
The YUM-O Organization, Inc.
900 Broadway, Suite 1001
New York, NY 10003
If you are a representative from a company or organization and would like to discuss a larger-scale donation program, please email us, here.
Please note that we currently do not accept advertisers or sponsors at this time, but may consider doing so in the future. Please email us to receive further information about future advertising or sponsorship opportunities.
How can I volunteer with Yum-o!?
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Yum-o! At this time, we don't have volunteer opportunities directly with Yum-o! at the local level. However, much of Yum-o!'s work in local communities and schools is done through our partner nonprofit organizations, which may have volunteer programs. We suggest that you check out our Partners page to learn more about these organizations and their volunteer opportunities. In addition, you may be inspired by the organizations that are featured in our How Cool Is That? section and we encourage you to contact them to find out more about their work.
We also hope that you'll spread the word about Yum-o! and our website in your schools, neighborhoods and community by passing out handouts like our Kitchen Road Map, as well as by letting your friends and family know about this website, www.yum-o.org. We are excited about building a community of kids and their families who are taking action in their local communities while sharing and learning from tools and ideas on our website.
I recently made a donation to Yum-o! but have not yet received an acknowledgement letter. How do I know whether my donation has been received?
Thank you for your contribution in support of our mission! If you have not received an acknowledgement, please email us, here. Please be sure to include the approximate date and amount of your donation in your email, along with whether you donated online or by check.
My company or organization would like to launch a product or service in partnership with Rachael Ray or Yum-o! or hold an event that will benefit Yum-o! What can we do to help?
Thank you for your support and enthusiasm for Yum-o! We are honored by the inquiries we receive concerning the desire of individuals and companies and/or organizations to raise funds for Yum-o! However, it is our policy that we cannot permit the use of our name, or Rachael Ray’s name, in connection with these fundraising efforts. Similarly, while there are a few companies and organizations with whom we have special affiliations or partnerships, as a general policy, we cannot permit others to advertise and/or commercially sell items on the basis that the proceeds will be donated to Yum-o! (even if our name is not expressly mentioned).
However, if you or your company or organization would like to donate to our cause, we do welcome donations that are not obtained through association with or use of our organization’s name or Rachael Ray’s name.
My school or organization would like to hold a fundraiser in support of Yum-o! What can we do to help?
We are honored by the inquiries we receive concerning the desire of individuals and/or organizations to fundraise for Yum-o! However, it is our policy that we cannot permit the use of our name, or Rachael Ray’s name, in connection with these fundraising efforts. Similarly, while there are a few companies and organizations with whom we have special affiliations or partnerships, as a general policy, we cannot permit others to advertise and/or commercially sell items on the basis that the proceeds will be donated to Yum-o! (even if our name is not expressly mentioned).
However, if you or your organization would like to donate to our cause, we do welcome donations that are not obtained through association with or use of our organization’s name or Rachael Ray’s name.
Can I use a recipe from your Yum-o! site in an article or book that I am writing? What about for sharing at school or with my friends and family?
Our recipes are there for people to use and enjoy. We encourage you to email them or print them out to share with friends and family, but as a general rule, we do not allow reprinting of recipes for commercial or fundraising purposes.
In addition, the Yum-o! Kitchen Road Map features handy tips and tasty recipes that we're putting together with our friends at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to help you navigate your way around the kitchen. We hope you'll print it out, hang it on your fridge and get cooking! You can also share it by emailing it to friends and family and passing it around at school or at your next social or community gathering.
Can I use the Yum-o! logo in an article that I am writing or in a newsletter that I am handing out?
Unfortunately, we cannot allow any individuals or organizations to use our logo without our written permission, which is typically reserved for those entities with which we have established a formal partnership. Our current partners are listed here.
I am going to teach a class in healthy eating and I want to call it the Yum-o! class and feature recipes from Rachael Ray. Is that okay?
We're delighted that you're sharing the joys of food and cooking with kids! However, we cannot allow any individuals or organizations to use our logo, name (or Rachael Ray’s name) or recipes in any commercial or nonprofit endeavor.
I have a media or publicity inquiry for Yum-o! Whom should I contact?
Please direct media inquiries by email to Charlie Dougiello.
I'd like to link my website or blog to the Yum-o! site. Is that okay?
We're happy to hear that you'd like to share our kid-friendly recipes, tips for the kitchen and ideas for inspiring change in your schools and communities as a resource for your website or blog readers. You are welcome to link to our homepage; however, please do not include our logo on your website or blog, as the use of our logo and our specific endorsement is reserved for organizations with which we have established a formal partnership. Our current partners are listed here.
How can I contact Rachael’s magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, with questions or comments?
Yum-o! is a nonprofit organization that is separate from the Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. Please visit the magazine's website for all questions related to the magazine.
How can I feature my idea, product or organization on the Rachael Ray show?
Yum-o! is a nonprofit organization that is separate from the Rachael Ray show. Please visit the Rachael Ray show website to learn more about submitting ideas to the show.
How can I share my ideas, comments or feedback about the Rachael Ray show with the producers?
Yum-o! is a nonprofit organization that is separate from the Rachael Ray show. Please visit the Rachael Ray show website to share your comments with the producers.
How do I get tickets to the Rachael Ray show?
Yum-o! is a nonprofit organization that is separate from the Rachael Ray show. Please visit the Rachael Ray show website to learn how you can attend a taping of the show.
Did Rachael’s parents emphasize healthy eating?
Rachael’s parents naturally ate healthy foods but didn’t describe them as such. Her family ate what they grew. Her father is a very slow cooker and it takes him a while to prepare things. Since Rachael often didn’t have the patience to wait for her father to finish preparing a meal, she ended up eating more like her mother, who primarily eats a Mediterranean diet.
What type of food did Rachael eat growing up?
Rachael remembers her mother telling stories about how she and her siblings used to race each other home half a mile in the heat to get to the good food in the house, which were usually fruits and veggies that the family had canned themselves. The kids competed with each other to prepare and eat the best dishes.
Her mother’s upbringing greatly influenced the foods Rachael ate growing up. Rachael also spent a lot of time with her grandfather and generally ate what he ate. Most things were covered with garlic and oil – squid sandwiches, sardine sandwiches, lean fish, you get the picture – but used no butter or animal fat. She would come home from school upset because she didn’t bring what everyone else had for lunch, but her school did not have good food either. Rachael was afraid of what she called “blue foods” – things that came packaged and were unnatural colors – because they reminded her of melted crayons!
Rachael didn’t have a taste for sweets and instead ate a lot of dark greens and veggies. She would eat a lot of protein with small side portions of carbohydrates, such as pasta, and ate small amounts of food, not heaping portions. Her whole family cooked only with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), and didn’t use animal fats or butter.
What type of food does Rachael eat now?
Rachael still eats many of the same foods she grew up eating. Her meals include a lot of dark greens and veggies, and she has gotten into eating whole wheat pasta. Rachael loves burgers of all kinds – chicken, beef, turkey, tuna just to name a few – and enjoys being creative with unique burger combinations. She feels that everything should be eaten in moderation; in other words, that a variety of foods should be eaten to balance each other out, and she only cooks with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Based on her experience growing up, Rachael has always believed in turning healthy food into food that is fun to prepare and eat and uses lots of color and creativity.
I saw a recipe on the Rachael Ray show, in the Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine or in one of Rachael's cookbooks, but I can’t seem to find it now. Can you send it to me?
The recipes featured on the Yum-o! website are selected because they are especially family-friendly and incorporate healthier ingredients. To check if a recipe that you’ve seen elsewhere is a Yum-o! recipe, visit our Recipes section, where you can search using key words in the recipe name. You can also search for similar Yum-o! recipes by age, key ingredients or meal type.
One or more of my family members has certain dietary restrictions (examples: diabetic diet, food allergies, gluten-free diet, low-fat or low-calorie diet etc.). Can you suggest specific recipes for me?
Because different people have specific needs when it comes to dietary requirements, the best place to start when it comes to learning about suitable recipes is your physician. All of Yum-o!’s recipes include a list of ingredients so that your medical provider can review the ingredients and help you choose appropriate recipes.
I noticed that Yum-o! funds scholarships and food education programs at schools. How can my child or I apply for a scholarship or grant? What about grants for programs at my school?
We currently work with other nonprofit organizations to implement various types of scholarships and grants.
For scholarships, Yum-o! has established a partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). For general information about how you can apply for a Yum-o! scholarship, click here (under "Scholarships for First-Time Freshmen"). In addition, the NRAEF offers a variety of other scholarships through its Scholarships and Mentoring Program; more information on these scholarships is available, here.
For project funding and grant programs, we encourage you to have a look at the people and organizations featured in Yum-o!’s How Cool Is That? section on our website. As the number of people and organizations featured in this section continues to grow, you may find it to be a valuable resource for ideas for organizing and funding your particular program. In addition, you can visit the websites of our Partners for funding suggestions and resources if your program fits with one of their missions.
My school or organization is holding an event, and we'd like to feature an item from Yum-o! Can you donate an item to our school or organization's auction or event?
We receive many donation requests and unfortunately, we are unable to fulfill them all at this time. Should items for donation become available in the future, we will mention their availability on this page.
We'd like to have Rachael Ray stop by our school or attend an upcoming event. How do we request that she visit?
Rachael receives many requests each week to visit schools, community events and conferences. While she would love to accept your invitation, her schedule does not permit us to accommodate further requests at this time.
Do you accept advertisers or sponsors on Yum-o!'s website?
We currently do not accept advertisers or sponsors at this time, but may consider doing so in the future. Please email us to receive further information about future advertising or sponsorship opportunities.
Where can I buy Yum-o! products?