Workshop focuses on healthy eatingFood takes center stage in Lake Nebagamon next week. Whether you’re looking for information on how to grow, cook and preserve food or hints for stretching your grocery budget, a free community workshop has it all.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Food takes center stage in Lake Nebagamon next week.
Whether you’re looking for information on how to grow, cook and preserve food or hints for stretching your grocery budget, a free community workshop has it all.
“Building Stronger Communities from Start to Finish” runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday in the St. Anthony Parish Center. It includes segments on exercise, container gardening, canning, coupon clipping, keeping the kitchen clean and whipping up healthy meals like soups and pasta on a budget.
Kids who attend will learn to set the table with flair and take part in their own “Cupcake Wars.” The day ends with a community dinner and discussion.
“Meet new people, share ideas, discover how much fun cooking can be,” said Michele Hughes, outreach specialist with UW-Superior Continuing Education/Extension.
There will be sessions on using crockpots and pressure cookers to make quick meals and feeding kids the best food to prevent childhood obesity.
“Make food colorful,” Hughes said. “Introduce them to different vegetables and have fresh fruit around.”
A mug of carrot sticks on the refrigerator shelf, fresh fruit in a bowl on the table and other well-placed food can change kids’ snacking habits.
“If you have the stuff available, they’ll eat it,” said Hughes, who is organizing the workshop.
Up to 100 people can attend the event, which takes place the day after school ends for students in the Maple School District.
Obesity is becoming a nationwide epidemic. More than one-third of U.S. adults and about 17 percent of children ages 2-19 are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A healthy diet is one of the keys to stemming the tide, along with increased physical activity, according to the CDC. Healthy eating is the impetus behind the “MyPlate” campaign endorsed by First Lady Michelle Obama, which celebrates its first anniversary this month.
“You have one body and you have it for life,” Hughes said. Thursday’s workshop is tooled to help people take better care of it.
“I was a public health nurse for 23 years,” Hughes said. “I saw a lot of people … who maybe didn’t have a mentor in the kitchen. Cooking was not something they liked to do.”
The Lake Nebagamon woman herself had plenty of mentors, including her mother and grandmother. She passed a love of cooking on to her sons, and loves to cook and bake with her grandchildren. Her goal for the workshop is simple: Make cooking fun for others.
“They can make their dollar stretch plus they can feed their children better, feed themselves better,” Hughes said.
One of the features of the workshop is the amount of community support it has generated. Local funding and supplies were provided by Kids In Nebagamon, the village of Lake Nebagamon, the Lake Nebagamon Community Association and Lions Club, Wentworth Gardens, Lake Nebagamon Dairy Queen and local dentist Mike Lawler. Area experts have volunteered to lead different sessions.
“People came forward to say ‘I’ll do that part,’” Hughes said.
Participants won’t leave empty-handed. Container gardens with plants, recipes, measuring cups, pamphlets on canning, nonperishable food and more will be available. Information booths on the Rural Care and Share Food Shelf, Women, Infants and Children program and Family Forum Head Start also will be set up.
Hughes invited people of all ages to attend. If parents are unable to attend, she suggested having grandparents come to the workshop with their grandchildren. The parents can join them for the final sessions after work, if possible.
“I think it’s really important, these grandparents can do things with kids parents don’t always have time for,” Hughes said.
For information or to register for the free workshop, call Donna Sislo at (715) 394-8170 or Hughes at (715) 394-8529. Advance registration is preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.