Your Family Can Cook!

Spring Fling 2016 (5)

Area Youth Encourage People to Sample Healthy Food Choices

Unfortunately, some food or snack choices for kids may range between only  corn dogs to candy bars. That, coupled with a lack of proper exercise, are some of the reasons Prowers County has one of the highest youth obesity rates in Colorado.

Healthy Places has been at work to offer a healthier alternative to regular meals and snack food and has begun to offer a series of family cooking classes at the Lamar Community Building through the summer.

Emily Neischburg, Director of Healthy Places explained the concept during a recent afternoon ‘huddle’ at the center at the corner of Main and Olive Streets in Lamar. “This is an opportunity for the entire family to come together and try out new recipes and learn about new tastes for foods and vegetables.  Usually parents have a struggle attempting to introduce a new vegetable to their children, or they themselves may not know about some of them.  The class brings the family together to prepare a meal and have a hands-on chance to prepare they enjoy their new meal.”  She added that it can also save some grocery money so a large purchase doesn’t go to waste if it’s not enjoyed.  “We’re hearing things from parents along the lines of, ‘I never knew my kids enjoy eating mushrooms, or we put together a quesadilla using vegetables for the first time and they like them,” she stated.

At the time of the interview, a group had come together to prepare a quesadilla for lunch that had homemade mango salsa as a prime ingredient. Using chopped mangoes, cilantro, green and red peppers, cucumber, black beans, corn and cheese; the ingredients were mixed and melted on a tabletop grill for the noon meal.  Neischburg said it’s become a family favorite for a lot of people and she’d be happy to share the recipe.

People can find out more information for eating and menu choices during the Lamar Days celebration, May 21st, at Willow Creek Park as volunteers will explain about easy-to-make meals, using healthy foods.  The family cooking class requires pre-registration which is available through the summer at 719-688-1265 or email  Neischburg said the group uses facebook to connect with interested parties and a lot of her grant funding has been based on continued community outreach and local citizen input.  “We make use of a lot of mutually reinforcing activities among our participants,” she explained.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEducationEntertainmentFeaturedHealthSchoolYouth

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