HAMPTON — Sentara Careplex Hospital and the Culinary Institute of Virginia have teamed up to teach families across the peninsula how to make healthy meals.
Chef Mary Cook from Casual Gourmet Cooking has developed a series of classes focused on providing mothers and fathers family-focused meal preparation.
Classes will be at the Culinary Institute campus in Newport News, 11850 Merchants Walk.
The goal of the program is to teach families how to lead a healthier eating lifestyle, teach portion control and give families the skills they need to make healthy meal choices, said Jackie Jones, clinical manager at Sentara Careplex.
Cook said that back in February the new maternity ward at Sentara, which opened on Dec. 31, 2017, was interested in creating a class for new mothers — one on meal prepping for new mothers and one on meal planning.
The goal was simple: Teach mothers how to prepare for the major life-shift they were about to experience after giving birth, Cook said.
The success of these mother-centered classes lead to the family-centered cooking classes, she said.
Jones said any family can sign up for the classes, which are targeted for families with young children.
Cook said the biggest challenge she sees in new parents or parents of young children is trying to get the kids to eat healthy foods.
Her classes cover topics such as healthy meals and snacks, cooking with mom and dad and cooking for working moms.
Jones added that pregnant women often struggle to make healthy choices due to things such as income or social economic status barriers. Often on a tight budget, these women don’t have access to healthy food items.
The classes will help educate mothers on how to make smarter choices and will help teach families how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Registration is on-going and can be accessed here.
The first three classes include:
- Healthy Meals and Snacks, on June 22, 6-9 p.m.
- Cooking with Mom or Dad, on July 7 and 21, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Working Mom Meals, on Aug. 10 and 24, 6-9 p.m.
There is a $70 fee per person per course, and families delivering babies at Sentara CarePlex can receive a special discount which reduces the fee to $14 per person. To receive the discount code, families must call 757-736-0191.