Cooking Matters

6:07 PM

Cooking Matters. Never did I think these two simple words would mean so much to me 10 years ago. Before I become I mom, I cooked occasionally with little thought on ingredients or sticking to a weekly budget. I had a good paying job. I cooked what I wanted and when I wanted.

Then I had kids. I was consumed with feeding them healthy food. We were on a strict budget. I made homemade baby food and tested new recipes with hopes they would adopt the same adventurous palate umdaddy and I had – and blogged about it along the way. Then I joined the team at ChopChop Magazine, embracing the mission of inspiring and teaching kids to cook real food as a way to combat hunger, poor nutrition and childhood obesity. Yeah, cooking matters. Big time.

So when I had the opportunity to hear about the work Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters is doing
Cooking Matters Alicia McCabe demonstrating
skills taught in a cooking class
here in Massachusetts, I didn’t hesitate. Cooking Matters teaches participants (many receiving SNAP and WIC benefits) to shop smarter, cook delicious meals, and how to make healthy choices. With the help of an army of volunteers, participants enroll in a six-week cooking course that include a grocery tour to teach how to shop, read nutrition labels, and stretch their dollars.

And the results are impressive. In a recent study on the impact of Cooking Matters:
  • Participants have increased confidence in the kitchen
  • Number of meals cooked at home increased
  • Families are eating healthier and choosing healthy foods (whole grains, low-fat dairy, low sodium)
  • Participants reported increase in their ability to stretch their food dollars

While there is evidence Cooking Matters is making an impact, there is still work that needs to be done. We need to reach more families. We need to demonstrate why cooking matters. How can you help? Volunteer. Attend a culinary event to benefit Cooking Matters. Teach someone you love how to cook. 
(credit: Share Our Strength)

Disclosure: Thanks to Share Our Strength and Kirkland Tap& Trotter for hosting the event, which I received free of charge. As always, opinions are my own.

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