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Nutrition Education with Cooking Matters

Is it lunchtime? Our son will ask at breakfast.

Do apples have sugar in them? He questions at snack time. (When I say yes,  but it’s fruit sugar, not white sugar, he decides, “Then we can eat them all.”).

So you can see, we’re always talking about foods and their nutrition with our children. We prepare a lot of foods from fresh/scratch too.

I know this is not the norm across America. In fact, when I sat in last week on a nutrition education webinar sponsored by Share Our Strength and The Motherhood, I learned some sobering facts.

nutrition education

Cooking Matters, a nutrition education program provided by Share Our Strength gave us survey results revealing, “85% of low-income families believe eating healthy is important, yet only half make nutritious meals on a regular basis.”

“Poor nutrition can lead to behavioral, emotional and academic problems,” according to Harvard School of Public Health and Journal of Applied Research on Children. We need to change the way people think about food, cooking, and nutrition in our country.

Part of the problem is people buy into myths about nutritious foods. I’m here to help knock down those myths!

nutrition education

Nutritious foods don’t have to cost a lot of money.

Simply replacing sugary snack bars with a piece of fresh fruit goes a long way towards reducing fats, added sugars, and preservatives in your child’s diet. (The average sugary granola bar runs about 18-50 cents. I often find bananas priced at 3 pounds for $1.49, and at 7-8 bananas per bunch, that’s just about 22 cents each!).

Nutritious cooking doesn’t have to take a lot of time

Not really, because there are lots of non-cooking options for quick meals.

Try this: Instead of stopping by your local fast food joint for lunch, try this healthy and quick Apple Wraps recipe condensed from Cooking Matters:

Apple Wraps 


1 large apple, diced

2 medium, ripe bananas, mashed

2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas

Mix banana and peanut butter, then spread on each tortilla, sprinkle apples on top. Roll up and enjoy!

Nutritious cooking doesn’t require special skills or equipment.

Have a good cutting knife and a cutting board, and you’re pretty much set. Basic tools like knives and pots and pans are all you need to cool many kinds of basic foods.

No need to even heat the oven! We can go days without turning the oven on just by steaming or pan sautéing foods.

I don’t consider myself a world-class cook of any kind. Fact: when I got married I made tacos about every other day because I was too intimidated by the idea of coordinating a multi-course meal! Little by little, I added a dish here and there that I felt comfortable making, and now I have a range of meals I like to prepare for my family! If I can do it, so can you!

Plus, there’s tons of resources to help you cook better. The Walmart Foundation recently granted Share Our Strength funding to offer the Cooking Matters Program at various Walmart locations.

What is Cooking Matters? A Nutrition Education Program!

A community-organized six-week program taught by volunteer chef and nutrition educators to help families learn how to:

  1. Buy fruits and vegetables on a budget
  2. Compare unit prices
  3. Read food labels
  4. Identify whole grain foods

Lessons include meal prep, shopping tips, budget tips, and nutrition information.

Cooking Matters courses are offered by a network of community organizations serving low-income families. Although classes will be offered by the organizations to selected families, everyone can access the Cooking Matters program materials online or participate in a store tour!

You can find recipes, use the Cooking Matters Recipe App on iTunes and Google Play, or see if a nutrition education class or tour is available in your area.

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign has a 20 year history of helping families develop and maintain healthier eating habits. Learn more here

Let’s get our families back to eating home-prepared meals, and back to enjoying time at the family table!

What are your thoughts, tips, experiences around getting families and children to eat more nutritious meals? 

This post was brought to you by Share Our Strength and The Motherhood, and I received compensation for sharing this message and my thoughts with you. All opinions are my own!

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Monday 23rd of December 2013

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Monday 4th of November 2013

our family eats extremely healthy so this is awesome to hear about


Monday 4th of November 2013

our family eats extremely healthy so this is awesome to hear about


Friday 1st of November 2013

The apple wrap sounds yummy. Something quick, easy and healthy to put together