Holiday Cooking Demo Ideas

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Holiday Fruit

Holiday presentations and cooking demos, By Cynthia York- Camden MS, RD, LDN Clinical Nutrition Manager and Owner of RDLink.com Late in September, I was asked to do a presentation and cooking demo on the topic of holiday eating with diabetes for a local healthy living expo. As usual I only had a short time to prepare.

I had a folder full of collected handouts and recipes on the topic. I reviewed the internet and university extension resources for extra ideas. I also purchased Judy Doherty’s Holiday Secrets Cookbook. This cookbook has great inspiration and recipes that worked well with my presentation. The newsletter format has always worked well for this type of event (no PowerPoint). I put the main outline of my presentation on one or two pages of my Holiday eating with Diabetes News. Then I included other supporting information and recipes as the end. I

had a holiday action plan form on one page to help folks get started planning what to do. The culinary person from my department helped to plan for the event. Sautéed fruit worked well for this since it fit with the message of focusing on more fruits and vegetables and was also easy to transport and handle. Judy’s Holiday Ginger Vegetable recipe would have also worked well. The event was well-received and it was great to have the supporting material in my handout. When someone had question, such as “what is the safest temperature for a turkey”, I was able to refer the whole group to a page in the newsletter.

We used culinary support to demo the sautéed fruit. We also had nutrition student volunteers from the local university to help serve and transport items. The simple fruit idea went over so well that I have been requested to serve it at a November lunch and learn and speak on the same topic for our hospital senior group. What I would do differently next time: Offer to help promote the program. I would have written a script for the culinary support person. Make sure the audience can see the food cooking. Ask for an extra table to use for samples. Make sure that there was a written catering sheet with everything needed for the program. Napkins were forgotten and had to be borrowed from the canteen. Have an experienced person take pictures of the event.

Holiday Vegetables

Your clients have probably heard the same holiday message from year to year. This year, be different.

Emphasize the importance of adding more vegetables to meals - this helps lower their total calorie intake, adds color and flavor to meals and helps them feel full faster on fewer calories. Show attendees a vast selection of vegetables that are delicious and colorful for their holiday meals. Some ideas:

• add green to your dishes and meals with sliced kale, spinach or other greens - they

go especially well in pasta, soups, mashed potatoes and vegetable side dishes.

• add red cranberries and red bell peppers to salads and veggie side dishes

• add grated carrots to salads

• roast asparagus in the toaster oven quickly

• prepare a beautiful entree salad to be the table centerpiece

• use frozen vegetables to make a colorful medley

• jazz up frozen corn with colored bits of peppers

• bake winter squash in the oven along with the turkey

• offer a selection of root veggies like turnips, rutabagas and carrots

• cook and serve fresh beets to add color and variety to the holiday table

It is especially helpful if you can prepare or bring some veggie side dishes for them to try.

Holiday Spices

For the past four years, Martha Maddox, Family Consumer Science Agent, has conducted a nutrition holiday workshop titled, “Spice up Your Holidays.”

Martha demonstrates different salt-free blends and ways herbs can be used to cut sodium in the diet. The result at the workshop is a basket full of gifts that can be used by individuals for presents for the holidays or anytime. This workshop is very popular, and Martha usually has 75 to 125 participants. Martha uses sodium tubes to show amounts of sodium in various foods and educational fact sheets.

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