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 the first 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 as 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.
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.