“If we change what we eat we can have a healthier life.”
DENVER, COLORADO – Tiffany, Dan, and their two children had recently returned from visiting family in Mexico when Tiffany noticed a Cooking Matters flyer at her son’s school. Her father-in-law is on dialysis for kidney failure in Mexico, and during her family’s trip, her mother was diagnosed as pre-diabetic back home in Colorado.
Tiffany and Dan decided this was the time to eat better as a family. She enrolled in the Cooking Matters course at her son’s school and immediately began observing changes to her family’s health.
In Mexico, the family doctor had highlighted the relationship between diet and disease. He explained, “We often get what our parents get because we share their traditions and eat what they eat. But if you don’t eat the same things your dad eats you can avoid getting the same disease.”
Tiffany’s grandmother also suffered from diabetes and heart disease, but they had still been eating the same foods and using the same family recipes that may have led to those health issues.
Through her Cooking Matters class, Tiffany learned new recipes, how to read labels, and the amount of sugar in her family’s favorite drinks. The family used to drink soda on a regular basis, until the sight of how much sugar is in one serving shocked Tiffany to change that behavior. She no longer buys fruit juices, and makes water their go-to drink.
The family keeps more fresh fruit in the house as substitutes for sugar-loaded applesauce and flavored yogurts. Her kids were resistant at first, but after hearing tips in class, Tiffany encouraged them to brainstorm new fruits and veggies to try and they quickly started enjoying the new flavors and creativity.
Throughout her class, Tiffany shared everything she learned with Dan and her mother, and the whole family has embraced the changes. She sent pictures of class experiments to Dan. She went to the store with her mother, teaching her how to read labels and what to look for as they shopped – the same way she learned to do during class.
“I was able to change my mom’s diet and open her eyes too. I explained to her, ‘you’re going to be diabetic and have to do blood checks and insulin, it’s not fun.’ And now my mom has lost a lot of weight since I started the classes.”
Her son lost a significant amount of weight, and Tiffany has more energy herself. “I used to feel so sluggish and had no energy, and now that we have different eating habits I have batteries all day.”
Along with more energy, Tiffany saves more money after taking Cooking Matters. She now compares unit prices and buys in bulk. Her eyes are open to buying frozen vegetables and new foods that are often cheaper. One of her favorite themes was how to be flexible with recipes and use different ingredients. The Chinese Veggies and Rice is her favorite new recipe because of the variety of ingredients she can integrate and how budget-friendly it is.
Tiffany is so pleased with the changes she learned from her Cooking Matters class that she encourages other parents to sign up for upcoming classes. As a parent, she is familiar with how limited time can be, and offers to babysit while others participate.
Tiffany and Dan understand the effect food has on their family’s health, and want their children to have healthier futures. Tiffany is delighted by the health benefits they have experienced so far thanks to everything she learned through Cooking Matters.
“I enjoyed the class and these simple changes that are feasible. I would take it a second time!”