When it comes to feeding kids, it’s not just about the quantity of food, it’s also the quality.
As part of our “No Child Should Go Hungry” food drive, we’re highlighting a free cooking program offered by El Pasoans Fighting Hunger. We sat in on a class where mothers were learning to whip up healthy meals that include protein, vegetable and grains.
“I’ve been thinking about eating healthier and teaching my son while he’s young that there’s a better way of eating,” says Karina Saavedra. “Not just eating what he likes, but what is better for him.”
Parents in this class learn how to eat unhealthy things they like in moderation. For example, it’s okay to eat an apple every day, but it’s not okay to eat apple pie every day. These instructors emphasize that kids learn by example, and they need to see their parents making good food choices. When mom and dad snack on fruit and vegetables, kids will be more game to try it. In some cases, eating more healthy is as simple as switching up what kind of cooking oil is used to prepare a dish.
“We’ve got to make changes because we’ve grown up a certain way. For example, using lard, so these classes bring that teaching to families. You don’t have to use lard, you can use canola oil. Slowly making these changes will change habits,” says Carmen Rodriguez. Rodriguez works at Jefferson High School as a parent coordinator, and adds that these classes are quite popular.
Through a grant provided by Feeding Texas, the Nutrition Education Program at El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank offers these free classes to teach how to eat on a budget and educate all ages about healthy ways of eating.