Prior to attending the Cooking Matters for Adults class at South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC), Nancy had “virtually no cooking skills.”
She confessed that she didn’t even like being in the kitchen because she didn’t know her way around. Nancy’s lack of culinary expertise didn’t go unnoticed by her five-year-old son. He used to say, “Mommy can’t cook.” The truth was that Nancy opted for fast food take-out because it was easy and inexpensive.
Since taking the class, Nancy has learned a variety of new skills. She enjoys cooking a lot more, and she involves her son in the preparation process. Now she says, “we cook actual food” together.
During the class grocery store tour, Nancy welcomed the opportunity to explore aisles that she never spent much time in before. However, she was skeptical of the “Ten Dollar Challenge.” She didn’t think it was possible to purchase ingredients for a healthy family meal for ten dollars, but she was willing to try.
Not only did Nancy get fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and low-fat dairy items, but she got change back as well. She was surprised and excited to tell her son the good news. Nancy said he was proud of her. Now he tells people, “Mommy won the challenge.”
This story was written by Erin Healy, a spring intern with Cooking Matters Massachusetts, and a recent graduate of the MS in Food and Nutrition program at Framingham State University.