Moving to a new state, securing a full-time and part-time job and managing car payments and bills is a full plate of responsibilities, but new mother Mayraha also balances caring for her young daughter on her own.
Mayraha receives Supplemental Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to help feed her and her one-year old daughter, Riley. “Having the food stamps helps us out a lot. Without food stamps, we would be hungry.”
She discovered Cooking Matters classes through Riley’s daycare, and wasn’t sure what to expect but was hoping to balance her budget and diet. She described cooking for herself and her baby “a struggle,” and felt she had too many leftovers after cooking, spoiling food and missing nutrients from eating the same thing every day.
Mayraha enjoyed learning the new recipes and trying new techniques with different foods. The tacos and burger meals were two of her favorites because she had never used ground turkey before. Mayraha found meal planning with similar ingredients for the week to be helpful to introduce variety in their diets and stretch her food budget.
“That was a different way to look at it, with the veggies and the meat, being able to pick and select and make a different menu every week.”
Mayraha’s grandmother was a cafeteria manager for a high school so Mayraha grew up around healthy meals, but never learned to prepare them for herself. It was after having a baby she was inspired to learn about healthier options.
“I want to keep everything super healthy because my baby is young enough that if I start feeding her healthy food now she won’t know any different.”