Cooking classes teaching healthy eating

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Dozens of Fresno families are introducing their kids to new, healthier food choices thanks to a program by the Fresno Metro Ministry.

We all know how important it is that we eat healthier foods, but it's much easier to prepare these kinds of meals when someone also shows you how to incorporate the ingredients into different recipes.

Traditional favorites aren't being eliminated; they are just modified.

The folks taking part in Fresno Metro Ministry's cooking class all want their kids and grandkids to eat healthier meals.

Lupe Alaniz of Fresno explained, "Hispanic people, we eat a lot of rice and beans and that kind of food, and this is like, more vegetables that they need to have in their food group."

Salsa remained a good choice, though the tortilla chips have been replaced by whole grain crackers. Under the Cooking Matters plan, ingredients like cheese are replaced in some of the popular meals.

Tom Matott said, "Today we're doing a black bean and veggie quesadilla. We're going to do a fall salad with quinoa and mandarin oranges."

Matott is an Urban Food Systems Coordinator with Fresno Metro Ministry. The cooking classes are designed to help parents whip up healthier choices.

Alaniz added, "Nowadays parents are so used to have everything is so fast. Fast food and I'm trying to break that habit."

Fresno Metro Ministry is holding the six-week courses in several different parts of the city, and they've been a big hit with those attending.

The dishes even include different ways to serve pasta sauces.

Vince Galvante of Fresno said, "The reason why I'm here for six weeks is to learning to cook and eat healthy."

The course gives people the confidence to cook with ingredients maybe they haven't tried before like barley, brown rice and quinoa.

Matott said, "If you don't know you're really at the mercy of whatever you can find." Too often that means stopping at a fast food restaurant.
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