Nutrition Is for Everyone: April 2017
All 12 participants of the recently completed Orleans Parish Cooking Matters class (including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their friends, family, and support staff) attended the potluck to show off their cooking skills by bringing healthy dishes to share. Participants reflecting on their experience had exceptionally positive comments, mentioning improved behavior changes such as increased cooking at home, reading nutrition labels more often, and making smarter choices when eating out. Participants were eager to share what they had learned with others and expressed interest in working with our project to start Cooking Matters classes at their churches and community organizations. Two new Cooking Matters classes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their friends, family, and support staff began in March. The Louisiana nutrition intern Colleen proved to be an excellent instructor during her first two classes by using creative visuals to support learning.
Additionally, the Louisiana Nutrition Ambassador spoke at a two-parish Community Services Meeting in March. Provider organizations showed an overwhelming interest in the program and the state Ambassador has begun communicating with multiple organizations about starting Cooking Matters classes for the clients they serve.