Veterans watch healthy cooking videos from home
In 2015, Northern Indiana VA The Department of Nutrition and Food Services has launched Healthy Instructional Cooking Classes. Classes allow veterans to watch and participate in healthy recipe demonstrations while sampling delicious dishes.
The six-course series was organized to educate and help veterans prepare healthier recipes at home. The program is designed around the Healthy Plate method of eating, which emphasizes portion-controlled meals, including vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, dairy products and high-fiber grains.
Classes focus on a food category topic and each features recipes that offer different cooking and seasoning methods to enhance the flavor of food without using salt.
There was often a waiting list to register
“This is one of the most popular classes we offer,” said dietitian Tiane Bianski. “We often had a waiting list to register. Veterans with fluctuating work schedules and travel restrictions prevented them from attending in-person classes. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, all classes had to be suspended. »
The pandemic has forced dietitians to get creative with their classes. With the help of the public affairs office, they began recording monthly recipe demonstrations. The two-minute video includes an ingredient list, preparation steps, and a final product. The videos are then shared on social media platforms to increase access to healthier cooking education.
Videos via VA Video Connect and Facebook
“This new method has become popular with our veteran population and the public watching the videos on our social media,” Tiane said.
The videos posted on social media were so successful that the Nutrition and Food Services department decided to go even further. The series of six classes is now offered to veterans through VA’s Video Connect. Veterans now have the opportunity to take classes or simply try a healthy new recipe from the comfort of their own homes.