Our CHOICES nutrition program teaches participants that healthy habits and moderation are key to living a healthy, happy life. Additionally, the team continues to create and modify recipes that are culturally appropriate for the diverse populations we serve.
Even though the nutrition education team loves introducing clients to new vegetables, fruits and grains, they knows it’s important for clients to feel they can have control of what they regularly eat. The team modifies favorite recipes, such as pozole and chorizo, putting a healthy spin on traditional favorites. The educators focus on teaching how small modifications and substitutions in a recipe can help achieve a balanced plate to fit a healthy diet.
In our adult classes we teach participants how to incorporate favorite dishes into a balanced diet. We believe that every food can fit into a balanced diet.
One of our favorite recipes is pineapple chicken fried rice. This dish is typically made with white rice (which contains very little fiber) and a large quantity of oil. We modified it by substituting white rice for brown rice, and adding more vegetables, such as peas, carrots and bell peppers.
It’s fun to see the look on our client’s faces when they realize that small modifications can still make the food taste good. The educators also focus on using healthier cooking techniques like baking instead or deep frying and showing that one tablespoon of olive oil goes a long way.
Throughout our series, and as clients become more engaged and confident, we continue to introduce new foods. This can include trying quinoa, whole grains, or garbanzo beans as a vegetable based protein.
“I’ve had many adults try mushrooms for the first time in my class. I am happy when they see how good they can be in a pasta dish or in an egg omelet,” Nutrition Educator Beatriz Bravo said.
Clients often don’t want to try certain food, like mushrooms, because they didn’t like it as children or the food looks unappealing to them.
Sometimes it just takes a second chance to discover how good something can taste. One of the recipes, tofu chorizo, is becoming very popular among our clients. Many families are unfamiliar with how to prepare tofu.
We find that once we teach them how to prepare it in a tasty, yet healthy way, they are much more willing to try the recipe at home.
Since many of our clients are on a very limited budget, clients hesitate spending money on new foods to try. The CHOICES nutrition education classes are great opportunities to expose people to unfamiliar foods.
You can find more recipe options here.
For more information about scheduling classes, contact our Nutrition Education Manager, Mary Agnew, RDN, LD at firstname.lastname@example.org.