Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cooking the NWW Way

I recently had the opportunity to teach our new Cooking the Weight and Wellness Way class at a middle school.  This was for adults, not students.  I demonstrated our new deep-dish pizza and jicama salad from the new NWW cookbook.  Participants loved the pizza and Ryan loved the leftovers.  While setting up for the class I had to find a few utensils; look what I found while searching for a casserole dish and salt.

There were also a several bags of  milk-chocolate chips and two large tubs of Crisco in the refrigerator.  Seeing these foods in the school pantry made me realize just how SAD our diets are, and why kids today do not know how to cook real foods.  Not sure what the cereals are used for, trail mix perhaps.  But teens don't need to make that.  I remember my Jr and Sr high cooking classes and they weren't much better.  We learned to make meatballs, garlic bread, grasshopper pie, cream puffs, pie, cookies, and who knows what else.  I've always love to cook so none of the recipes seemed difficult for me.  However, other kids in the class would struggle with simple directions such as "Cream together butter and sugar."

Teens and adults today do know know how to cook, and dumbed down home-ec/Family Consumer Science (FCS) classes are not helping.  Clients tell me they do not know how to wilt or saut√© spinach in butter, they do not know how to whip cream, they have never roasted vegetables, most have never roasted a whole chicken, and a whole lot of people don't know the difference between winter and summer squash.

Not to mention the "I don't have time to cook" excuse that is perpetuated.  People have time, they just don't prioritize it.  They also don't know what foods to cook when they are time crunched.

Classes today teach teens to make treats, not foods that nourish their bodies.  I realize it's going to take a massive change in thinking by the USDA and FCS educators to get out the sugar and damaged fats, but it's still sad to see these foods being used so readily in schools.  If I ran an FCS class here's what I would teach kids to make:

Roasted chicken thighs and roasted vegetables
Stir Fry
Vegetable Frittata
Seared Pork Chops
Homemade Ranch Dressing to go with fresh sliced vegetables
Sauteed Pears with chopped pecans and real whipped cream
salmon salad with crunchy veggies instead of crackers
sauteed pears with pecans and whipped cream
In conclusion... If you have kids and want them to eat real foods, YOU have to be the one teaching them the skills they need.

1 comment:

  1. I believe that it is it important that we teach our children how to eat right from a very early age; but, this is something we have to do by example.