Activity Idea: Make a Healthful Recipe Book


Feeling inspired?

How about a new activity idea? You can do this activity with groups large and small, using tons of resources or no more than some printouts and a stapler. You can incorporate social media and put together Pinterest boards, or you can simply lead a discussion that will get your clients thinking. There are a million ways to implement this activity idea!

Let's start with the bare bones.

We're going to make a book of healthful recipes. You can find all the recipes you could possibly need right here in the free recipe archive. There are over 1,000 recipes developed by yours truly and other trained chefs, and each one has been rigorously tested. No duds in this batch! Anyway, the first thing you need to do is collect your favorite recipes from the site and bring them in for your group. Make sure you have multiple copies of each one.

Show your participants the recipes and explain that they will be sifting through each pile to find fun recipes to cook at home. You can focus on a particular theme, like hearty snacks, fresh fruit, or healthful desserts, or you can offer a wide selection of recipes to choose from. Some people prefer narrowing things down to one topic  like whole grains, vitamin C, or a monthly featured food like Soup Month (now) or Chocolate Month (February).

Discuss the recipes you've brought to the group. What makes them healthful? What makes them tasty? What's unique about each one? Answer questions about the recipes as participants look through the contenders. Consider broadening the subject to include reasons for preparing healthful meals and snacks.

Once everyone has an idea about which recipes they'd like, have participants grab the recipes that interest them and put together their recipe books. You can end the activity by passing around a stapler, or you can collect the books and get them bound. Consider adding a cute cover. Laminating the recipes gives them real staying power too.

Now your participants have a healthful cooking reference guide that is specific to their needs and interests!

Activity Variation #1: Take It Online! If your teaching space is equipped with computers and printers, you could have participants browse all 1,000+ recipes in the Food and Health Recipe Archives. They could browse the categories, then print the recipes that interested them. If you don't have a printer, have the students compile their links on a Pinterest board. Healthful cooking tips and substitutions could also populate such a board. For more Pinterest inspiration, check out my collection of Pinterest boards. Feel free to pin anything you like!

Avtivity Variation #2: Add a Cooking Demo! There are two ways to go about this variation. The first is to prepare a few fun recipes at home, then bring samples in to class. People can snack on them while they assemble their books, taste-testing possible recipes to include and discussing more ideas. The second way to do this variation is to do a full-blown cooking demonstration with Food and Health recipes, showing your group how to cook each one. Participants can then assemble their books after the demo and tastings.

Well, I hope you like this activity! Let me know if you try it!

By Judy Doherty, PC II

And, as I'm sure is no surprise, there are lots of ways to help your clients get interested in cooking and create healthful, balanced meals. Here are some of the top resources in the Nutrition Education Store.

Food Safety Temperatures Poster
Home Run Cooking: A Guide to Learning Your Way Around the Kitchen and Creating Meals That Will Be Home Runs!
Mediterranean Diet Poster
25 Ingredients Into 15 Meals Presentation
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