Class Aims to Teach Healthful Cooking

Healthy food; fast, easy and cheap is the theme to the second annual Barnes County On the Move cooking class to be held Tuesday and Wednesday.

The classes, which will be held in the FACS room at Valley City High School, will be geared toward parent-child teams of two and will feature healthy, inexpensive recipes that are also child-friendly, according to Licensed Registered Dietician Andrea Winter of On The Move.

Classes were made available with grant money from the North Dakota Cancer Coalition. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is proven to help reduce the risk of some diseases including cancer, according to Winter.

During the class, participants will learn how to make a variety of recipes using a variety of cooking methods, said Winter. Each team will get a different healthy recipe and everyone will have the opportunity to sample each recipe. Most of the recipes are for entrees, according to Winter, but menus using each recipe will be provided.

Recipes include cheddar beef enchiladas, pasta fagioli soup, sweet and sour pork chops, quick baked fish with potato wedges, Trumbull House pancakes and more. Most of the recipes can be made in 30 minutes or fewer.

There will even be some crock pot recipes that will be prepared by staff before each class.

All ingredients, including fruits and vegetables, nuts for salads and everything necessary for cooking will be provided. Even fun kitchen gadgets like a salad spinner will be available to help keep the kids entertained. In addition, Winter; On The Move Director Sharon Buhr, LRD; and intern Michon Kysilka of the University of North Dakota will be on hand to help out.

Besides getting cooking tips, participants will learn about food safety, get cooking tips, learn how to manage a food budget and learn why it’s healthier to cook than to eat out.

According to Winter, eating out has several disadvantages over cooking at home. Homemade food tends to be lower in fat, calories and sodium than restaurant food, tends to have more plant-based foods, is more economical, and when families cook together it gives parent and child time for bonding.

“Cooking is a great time to reconnect with kids,” said Winter.

An example Winter used to demonstrate how homemade can be healthier than restaurant food was a pasta primavera recipe. The recipe that will be used during the classes uses chicken breast, low-fat milk, and a healthy sauce. The recipe costs $1.55 per-serving and has 376 calories, 7.5 grams of fat and 227 milligrams of sodium. A comparable frozen version costs $3.59 per serving and has 400 calories, 12 grams of fat and 770 milligrams of sodium. A popular restaurant chain’s similar pasta dish costs $12.59 per serving and has 1,300 calories, 59 grams of fat (almost a full day’s allowance) and 3,160 milligrams of sodium.

“It’s fun to go to a restaurant now and then,” said Winter. But eating at home has other advantages too.

According to Winter, kids and teens who eat at home with their families are healthier and happier.

Learning to eat healthfully at home with an emphasis on eating fruits and vegetables “gives kids values that will impact their health.” Winter said.

Classes will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 26, and Thursday, Feb. 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The cost is $10 per team and each team should consist of an adult and a child in grades kindergarten through eight. Team members do not need to be On The Move participants, and the cost is still $10 per team for members. The fee will go toward purchasing food for the classes.
Participants will be given “goody bags” from sponsors and will be eligible for door prizes.

Class space is limited to 24 people (12 teams). For more information or to enroll in either class call Young People’s Healthy Heart at (701)845-6456.