KEARNS, Utah (ABC4) – The 2021 Utah Student Health and Risk Prevention Survey (SHARP) found that in Salt Lake County, Hispanic or Latino kids are almost three times more likely to have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days than their non-Hispanic or Latino peers.

On Tuesday, families in Kearns had the opportunity to bond together and teach their kids valuable lessons during a cooking class at the Kearns Library.

Research shows kids who regularly eat with their family—at least five times per week—are 33% less likely to use alcohol.

Prevention community coalition Evidence2Success and state-wide underage drinking prevention campaign Parents Empowered put on the event to prevent underage drinking in Kearns, to reach diverse families within the community.

“The whole thing is combatting risk factors of the youth and spending time with the family combats risk factors,” says Adrian Josemirande, a volunteer with the Kearns Youth Council.

One in three Hispanic or Latino parents in Salt Lake County has never talked to their kids about their rules and expectations of no alcohol use before age 21. Organizing partners hope to encourage family bonding through cooking and facilitate family conversations about their rules and expectations of no underage alcohol use.

The goal is to bring that number lower.

German Ocha works with Salt Lake County Youth Services and explains that cooking is something families do every day.

“If we sit down with our kids 10-15 minutes on a daily basis, that’s going to bring the chances for a kid to drink down to 33%.

For families who were unable to attend the event, free “Bonding in a Bag” reusable totes was made available at Rancho Market and Stan’s Market in Kearns. The bags contain all the ingredients to make huevos rancheros, an orange and jicama salad, and a smoothie so parents and their kids can make it at home together. The recipes and chef-guided instructions to make the meal were also posted on Evidence2Success social media page.