Class equips, empowers Veterans in the kitchen - Fayetteville VA Coastal Health Care System
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Fayetteville VA Coastal Health Care System

 

Class equips, empowers Veterans in the kitchen

MOVE! Coordinator prepares meal

Fayetteville Coastal HCS MOVE! Coordinator Tammy Peterson gets hand preparing meal from Veteran Elnora Campbell.

By LaCrystal Matlock Fayetteville NC VA Coastal HCS Nutrition & Food Service
Friday, October 4, 2019
Studies show that Americans buy or eat 80 percent of their food within a 5-mile radius of home.  The studies also say that we are three times more likely to eat the first thing we see in the kitchen, versus the fifth thing. 

With that in mind, the Fayetteville NC VA HCS launched a new 4-star Healthy Teaching Kitchen (HTK) to equip and empower Veterans to make better nutritional decisions in the kitchen. 

The driving factor to the 4-star rating for the HTK is that Veterans and their significant other who take the class will have a hands-on experience while cooking in the weekly class. Healthy Teaching Kitchen class watching meal preparation

Healthy Teaching Kitchen class observes meal preparation. Veterans and their significant other who take the class will have a hands-on experience while cooking in the weekly class.

20 lucky Veterans currently enrolled in the MOVE! Weight Management Program are the first group of HTK participants. The 6-week series meets Thursdays at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Veterans were introduced to a nutrient-packed Chicken Tortellini Soup with nutrition powerhouse- Kale during the first week!  They were pleasantly surprised by the robust, but salt-free flavor of the Healthy Garden Salad, with edamame (raw soybeans) and black beans— using the flavorful ingredient:  red wine vinegar.  Finally, Veterans experimented with a sampling of different fresh apply varieties, topped with sugar-free, fat-free vanilla flavored Greek yogurt, dusted with ground cinnamon to finish the course.

In the weeks to come, participants will learn proper knife handling skills, and then slice & dice ingredients for themselves.  Each one is encouraged to return the following week with their own recipes to discuss together during the class.

Our mission is to teach Veterans (and their partners) healthier food preparation strategies, for better health outcomes and improved quality of life, in line with the Whole Health concept.

picture of freshly prepared pot of chicken tortellini soup

freshly prepared pot of chicken tortellini soup

Fayetteville VA MOVE! Coordinator Tammy Peterson leads the classes and customizes the recipe offerings.  She tailors class content to special dietary considerations, and often encourages class members to try foods that they may not have ordinarily chosen.  For example, class members sampled a Black Bean-Sweet Potato Chili prepared 2 ways-- with ground beef and tofu. 

On any given Wednesday, Ms. Peterson can be found inventorying, shopping, and prepping for the class, wearing a smile, and maybe offering a sample to try!

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