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Kitchen Creations – A Cooking School for People with Diabetes and Their Families

October 11, 2019


[MUSIC PLAYING] – Kitchen Creations
is a powerful program that offers free cooking
schools for people with diabetes and their families. Hundreds of New
Mexicans participate each year, coming together
in their communities for a series of four
classes, usually held once a week for four weeks. At the end of the cooking
school, 99% of the participants report that they understand
strategies to plan and prepare healthy meals and that they’re
satisfied with the Kitchen Creations classes. Here’s a preview of what makes
this program so successful. – What is one of the
things that we look at, that we need to know to make our
best decisions for getting food on the table? – Kitchen Creations
participants learn from a registered dietitian or
certified diabetes educator, as well as from the group, how
to make healthy food choices and plan meals that will
help manage their diabetes. They gain experience
reading nutrition facts labels so they can compare
products and determine which foods are best for them. They learn about portion sizes
and the nutrients foods contain and how those
affect blood sugar. Participants also learn
healthy cooking strategies from Extension Family and
Consumer Science agents. They use a variety
of cooking methods to prepare meals
together that are balanced to help
manage blood sugars and promote heart health. They learn firsthand
how favorite recipes can be modified or enjoyed
in the right portions to be part of delicious
and satisfying meals that work for them. – So the last one on here is
cook with less added sugar or with artificial sweetener. – Participants set
goals each week and share their successes
in the next class. They enjoy learning
from each other and forming new friendships
with people who are dealing with the same health issues. They also learn how they
can share information to help family members
and friends who may be at risk for diabetes. Participants receive a manual,
cookbooks, and measuring tools to help them successfully
manage their diabetes at home. Published studies
on Kitchen Creations show that its participants
learned new information and that their diets were
significantly healthier at follow up. This research supports
that Kitchen Creations gives participants
the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy
healthy eating for diabetes. The New Mexico Department of
Health Diabetes Prevention and Control program and the
New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension
Service have worked together to fund and deliver Kitchen
Creations statewide since 2001. Many cooking schools have
additional community sponsors. Kitchen Creations is offered
in Spanish and English to all New Mexicans
with diabetes, especially those populations who
are affected disproportionately by diabetes. For more information and
to register for a Kitchen Creations Cooking School,
contact your local county extension office or go to
kitchencreations.nmsu.edu.

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