• Healthy eating focus of lunch, learn programs

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  • Tisha Swart-Entwistle | Staff Writer
    During the schoolyear, from September to May, Child and Youth Services offers monthly Lunch-and-Learn programs for CYS parents at the Osage Child Development and School-Age Center. The programs are presented by CYS Nurse Amy Domann.
    The programs include cooking demonstrations and healthy eating tips, and participants get to sample the food as well as take home copies of the recipes.
    “We spend the time sampling some healthy food options and talk about whatever the topic for the month might be,” Domann said.
    The Dec. 12 topic was “Holiday Hacks.” Domann said she usually tries to take a recipe that she uses at home that goes with the monthly theme and lighten it up.
    “We switch it up a little bit and hopefully it’s going to taste good. Sometimes what we are doing are experiments because that’s what’s fun,” Domann said.
    Some of the experiments turn out successfully and others, not so much, Domann said.
    “We’ve had some really awesome flops, but we’ve had some really tasty stuff too, which is really fun,” Domann said.
    The December main dish was a chicken and wild rice soup, which, Domann said, is her adaptation of chicken and noodles.
    “We used to have chicken and noodles every year at Christmas. About a year ago we decided we were going to lighten that up to make it a little more healthy,” Domann said. “As it turns out, my family really loves it, so this is now our Christmas Eve tradition.”
    Domann said the dish uses wild rice instead of white noodles and includes carrot, celery and kale. Kale can be a bit tough, so she said it needs to be massaged a bit before going into the soup.
    “Let the kids help massage the curly kale that is going into the soup,” Domann said.
    Domann said one of the objectives of the program is to help parents get ideas on how involve children in cooking.
    “Kids are much more likely to eat if they are participating in the meal prep, that is a common theme in all of our Lunch-and-Learns,” Domann said. “And, maybe that cooking process starts at the grocery store.”
    Domann served a bowl of the soup to CYS Training Specialist Carrie Bradke and asked her if she liked it and if she thought her children would eat it.
    “My kids would eat it, yes,” Bradke said. “And, I think you’re right, the more that the kids participate in the meal, they really enjoy eating it.”
    Page 2 of 2 - There is not a Lunch-and-Learn program in January. The next program is at 11:45 a.m. Feb. 13 and the topic is “Date Night.” Domann said she’s excited about the February program because she’s going to try to have a few children available in the kitchen who will serve a “date night” dinner for their parents.
    Future programs and dates include “Last Minute Fixes” March 13, “Spring into Something New” April 10 and “Summertime Fare” May 8. Contact the Parent Central and Outreach Services office at 684-5138 to register for the programs by noon the day before.
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