Cooking Class Teaches Children Healthy Habits

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BRAWLEY — Shaking and stirring bags of salad ingredients, kids learned the fun and nutritional aspects of cooking healthy meals at a class Friday sponsored by Molina Healthcare in partnership with the University of California Desert Research Extension Center 4-H at the Brawley Senior Center.

This is the second time the group has held the cooking class, and the first time it has been opened to the general public. The prior class was held in El Centro in 2014.

Children and their families received information on healthy eating such as the importance of using nutritious ingredients and serving sizes. Students also learned plating information — with a colorful food plate that illustrated where all the servings are placed, and were encouraged to eat healthy meals.

After the teaching session, students and their families were invited to grab their own ingredients for making a “Hearty Smarty chicken salad.” With the opportunity to make their own meal, the children were quick to put together the recipe and even more eager to eat it.

“I liked it a lot,” said Genevieve Vazquez of Imperial.

Vanessa Vazpuez, Genevieve’s aunt, said she loved what the class was showing her niece and nephew. “I’m interested that they eat healthy, good food that has lots of nutrients,”said Vazquez. “It’s good for them to know the importance and they like eating healthy.”

“It’s easier to mold a child than to change adult habits,” said Jeanne Flores, Molina Healthcare’s community engagement advocate. “Hopefully this is something that they will carry for the rest their lives.”