In recent years, clean eating has become a widespread craze. Why? Like many of the growing trends in today’s society, social media is largely responsible. Unfortunately, not everyone has the resources or nutritional knowledge to create colorful, nutritious meals in their own kitchens.
There are thousands of families in our region who don’t have regular access to fresh, health food because they live in areas where the closest grocery store is miles away and difficult to reach for those who rely on public transportation or walking. And some don’t even have the basics like a refrigerator or a stove.
This is why United Way partnered with Healthy Little Cooks to offer healthy cooking resources to mothers living in healthy food priority areas. These classes not only provide an opportunity for moms to learn how to make healthy meals at home, but to learn the nutritional benefits of the foods that are included for the class recipe and how to shop on a budget to buy affordable healthy food.
Said volunteer Catherine M., “The participants enjoy the support they get from the other moms and the encouragement to eat healthily. One woman I spoke to said she tries to eat healthy meals at home, but that it’s great to come to the classes to get support and ideas. The moms were swapping ideas about meal planning and healthy options, like vegan protein powder to put in smoothies for breakfast.”
These classes provide a low-risk opportunity for mothers to try something new, healthy, and affordable. They’re are also given groceries, including ingredients from the class meal and recipe cards, so they can try it again at home. The mothers enjoy camaraderie with other moms, comparing recipes, and sharing and tips for dishes and shopping.