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Upcoming Program: Cooking Smarter/Eating Better

By Maryann Birmingham

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Cooking Smarter/Eating Better is designed to teach basic cooking skills and techniques and to help families eat and prepare more meals at home. We’d like to boost your kitchen confidence! You will improve your preparation skills, food selection practices and be able to cook more meals that are healthy, delicious and nutritious.

In addition, participants will learn to plan, shop and stock a pantry that encourages simple meal preparation. Packaged foods and prepared meals cost more money than cooking at home with fresh ingredients. By bringing your home-cooked leftovers to work for lunch you can save about $100.00 per month.

Cooking at home saves time. In the time it takes to drive to a restaurant, place an order, wait for the order, return home and serve the meal, you could have made a “from scratch” meal at home. And, you know what went into that meal, where it was prepared and who prepared it!

When cooking from scratch, you control the salt, sugar and fat that goes into the meal. That allows you to reduce the possibility of weight gain and clogged arteries.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 76 million people get food poisoning each year in the United States. When you cook your meals at home, you can better control the temperatures when cooking meats, keep hands and counter tops cleaned and properly wash raw produce.

Preparing meals at home and including family members in meal preparation is a good way to share time together. Teaching children how to cook is a gift of health they will use for their entire lives and pass it on to their children and grandchildren.

When cooking from scratch you know exactly what is going into your recipes. The choices you make can keep you and your family healthy and happy.

Sign up now for our four-part cooking workshops, taking place Mondays, Nov. 3, 10, 17 and 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Click here for the full flyer and registration form: cook smart

Maryann Birmingham is a Community Nutrition Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Family Health and Wellness Program. She can be reached at 631-727-7850 ext. 356 or at mab422@cornell.edu.

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