LIMA — In an effort to combat childhood obesity, culinary arts students and teachers at Lima Senior High School and Apollo Career Center are hosting a series of programs designed to teach families how to eat healthy.
Cooking for Change is a new healthy eating program made possible by a $100,000 Childhood Obesity Prevention Award given to the city of Lima by the American Beverage Association.
After Mayor David Berger accepted the award in May, culinary instructors Misty Lee of Lima Senior and Carrie Hamilton of Apollo were challenged to help the Lima community learn healthier cooking options and techniques.
“We’re trying to give people more healthy options they can choose from instead of just popping something out of a can or deep frying,” Lee said. “Childhood obesity is a big problem, so we’re trying to get the word out to families about healthy foods.”
On Tuesday, Lee, Hamilton and three of their students hosted a cooking demonstration in the basement of St. Mark United Methodist Church. The team showed around 15 local residents how to make simple, healthy meals using fresh ingredients. On the menu was pumpkin soup with a sesame kale topping, braised Brussels sprouts, bean spinach soup and sauteed root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips, which are lower in carbohydrates.
In previous months, Cooking for Change programs have been featured at Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen and the University of Northwestern Ohio. The group will return to St. Mark in the winter for a “healthy food day” the church is hosting.
“We’re also looking to do some kind of camp for kids in the summer,” Lee said. “Instead of grabbing Cheetos when they get home, we want to teach them other options like a wrap with some hummus on it — healthy things they can make for themselves.”
Hamilton and Lee said they are also open to suggestions.
“We’re trying to do one or two events a month over the course of two years, so we’re willing to take any suggestions people have as far as where we should bring our program to,” Hamilton said.
To request a Cooking for Change event, call Apollo Career Center at 419-998-2908 or Lima Senior High School at 419-996-3000.
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima