Cooking for the Soul

By Jamie Greiner & Julie Greiner*

Focusing on family-friendly and healthy meals, Christ United Methodist Church (Tuscarawas District) in Alliance recently held a free three-week teaching session called Cooking for the Soul. Fifteen women participated in the crockpot class.

The Susie Buckel Circle started just last year and decided to try a new mission project. After lots of brainstorming, it was decided that they would host this cooking class for women from the neighborhood.

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Each week the women and their children gathered for dinner, then split into two groups. The first week’s topic was food safety. The second week Meg Mundy talked about the MyPlate food chart. The third week the focus was on nutrition labels.

Two recipes, including the one they ate for dinner, were prepared each week. Participants were given freezer bags so they could take the meals home for later use. Those in the class were given hands-on cooking tips, such as how to cut up vegetables and meat. Suggestions were shared to show how to adjust the recipe with substitutions or additional ingredients.

Following the cooking class, the children re-joined the group for dessert – which they had made.   These included banana rollups, apples and grapes with fruit dip, and pumpkin smoothies.

The children had their own lessons while the adults cooked. They learned the balance between food in and energy out, how to keep clean and prepare germ-free foods, and how activities burn calories. They played healthy food bingo, sang exercise songs, practiced teamwork with a parachute and balls, and/or colored educational pictures.

The first two weeks there were giveaways for everyone and a prize drawing for one participant. Those who completed all three classes received a crockpot and a bowl full of kitchen utensils.

The classes would not have been possible without all of the help and support of the Women’s Division of the Alliance Chamber of Commerce, the Martha Goldrick United Methodist Women fund, and congregation members for their financial support which covered the giveaway items that each woman received. We thank everyone for their dedication to this mission project.

The feedback from the women was positive. They enjoyed their time, were grateful for the opportunity, and look forward to another class. Now it is back to the drawing board to figure out the focus for the next class.

*Jamie Greiner and Julie Greiner are sisters-in-law who attend Christ United Methodist Church.