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Nutrition Program Spotlight: Create Better Health

Tuesday May 21, 2024

In the past year, our nutrition department has expanded their programs, adding 3 new nutrition class opportunities. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank now offers a host of nutrition classes including Pick a Better Snack, Pick It. Try It. Like It., 10 Tips for Adults, Nutrition Pantry Program and Create Better Health.

One of the newer classes that has received excellent feedback is Create Better Health. This class consists of an 8-month curriculum with 1 class a month that takes a holistic approach to improving the nutrition and physical activity-related knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy of SNAP-Ed eligible adults to lead an active and healthy lifestyle with limited resources.

Create Better Health emphasizes improving food resource management through using “Create” concepts that teach participants how to use foods they already have in their kitchen to create a variety of nourishing meals. Each class consists of three parts: a nutrition topic, a physical activity discussion, and a cooking demonstration.

The concepts teach participants how to make different dishes like “Create a Casserole,” “Create a Skillet Meal,” and “Create a Stir Fry.” Participants receive a handout that breaks the recipe up into different food groups such as grain, protein, vegetable, sauce, etc.

From there, the participants can see what they have in their pantry and can customize it to their preferences to make a meal they know they will enjoy. By breaking down the dish by food groups, the concepts not only provide them with a recipe but also teach them the skillset of grocery shopping and meal planning.

The physical activity portion of the class is meant to educate participants on the benefits of being active, show them ways to be active, and set goals. There is a focus on teaching participants that physical activity doesn’t have to be a chore, but it can be something they already enjoy doing or small changes to their everyday lives.

The class concludes with a cooking demonstration that uses the “Create” concept to make a meal for the participants to taste.

Since the implementation of Create Better Health, the classes have received positive feedback. Many of the participants have told Food Bank staff teaching the classes that they have been inspired by the “Create” concepts to make meals at home and when grocery shopping.

Participants have reported trying new foods and getting their children to try new foods by using the recipes provided.

Create Better Health is one of our many nutrition classes offered that aims to teach people how to live a healthy lifestyle and create healthy dietary patterns.

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