Healthy Teaching Kitchens Help Veterans Achieve a Balanced and Nutritious Diet

Healthy Teaching Kitchens Help Veterans Achieve a Balanced and Nutritious Diet

November 6, 2019 0 By Ewald Bahringer


♪ music ♪ Healthy eating: An
important component to the overall health and well-being of
individuals, and a major focus of Bay Pines VA Healthcare
System dietitians in service to Veterans. One of the many tools
used to help Veterans achieve a more balanced and nutritious
diet is the Healthy Teaching Kitchen – an hour-long cooking
demonstration hosted by VA dieticians intended to teach
Veterans and their families healthy cooking skills. The ultimate goal with the
Healthy Teaching Kitchen, and of course anything that
we’re implementing in our Healthcare System, is to
look at outcomes. In regards to their nutrition status, we might
be looking at specific indicators, largely given our
rate of obesity in out Veteran population. That’s one of the
number one things we’re looking at, is, you know, how can, you
know, healthier cooking and portion control really assist
them with reducing their weight. Along with a weight reduction
then also hopefully we’ll have some trends with, you know,
perhaps decreasing their medications, improving things
like their blood sugar and A1C levels, so everything kind of
goes hand in hand with that. And so by preparing things on our
own or more healthfully in our home setting, we can often
achieve some of those goals that we’re setting with the Veteran. Recently, a demonstration was conducted by dietetic
interns for Veterans who participate in the Bay Pines
Cancer Support Group. The menu for the day: Mediterranean
quinoa salad with avocado lime dressing. In order to promote National
Nutrition Month, we are going to utilize the Healthy
Teaching Kitchen in order to promote that. And we kind of
thought what better way to promote nutrition than to
actually show people how to cook a recipe, a recipe that they
could try, to actually see that healthy food can taste good.
It’s something that they can actually create on their own. According to Bay
Pines dieticians, Healthy Teaching Kitchens
provide Veterans and their families the opportunity
to sample foods they may not have tried on their own.
Additionally, many demonstrations focus on disease
specific conditions like the one for the cancer
support group. First of all, it tasted great! And knowing that there were a
lot of healthy things in there that normally I would shy away
from, it was pretty tasty and I enjoyed it. And I think I would
suggest my wife doing some of that salad. About a year ago,
the dieticians came in and they showed how to make smoothies. So
I had my wife making me some smoothies, but I gained too much
weight so we don’t do smoothies too much anymore. In recognition
of National Nutrition Month, Bay Pines dietetic interns will
be conducting several more Healthy Teaching Demonstrations
throughout March. The events will take place in the JC Cobb
room located on the first floor of the C.W. Bill Young VA
Medical Center. To learn more about the upcoming
demonstrations and nutrition services provided by Bay Pines,
please call 727-398-6661 extension 10204 or visit www.baypines.va.gov/services/
/nutrition_counseling.asp.