UC and community partners provided virtual hands-on cooking demonstrations

Jan 8, 2021

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) in Tulare County conducted virtual nutrition education and cooking demonstration classes last fall, empowering families to support their health with knowledge and skills to adopt healthy behaviors. The training covered nutrition/physical activity, food resource management, food security and food safety. 

Step 1: EFNEP integrated virtual food demonstration in nutrition education classes

EFNEP Tulare collaborated with Native American Tribal organizations and Tulare Adult School to provide virtual food demonstration classes integrated with nutrition education to parents with children. Mariana Lopez, bilingual EFNEP adult nutrition educator, led the classes in English and Spanish in four 60- to 90-minute sessions over four weeks.

Step 2. Planning, preparation and implementation of virtual food demonstration

Community partners provided the ingredients to the participants. Lopez found ways to make the virtual food demonstration successful by planning and preparing ahead of time. Participants engaged in hands-on learning about cost-effective cooking at home. Participants learned about food planning, budgeting and shopping, healthy foods, food safety practices and physical activity.

Step 3. Family engagement during virtual food demonstration

Lopez conducted virtual nutrition education classes with 48 families; 38 families graduated.

Community partners expressed their gratitude and willingness to continue with the collaboration.

“The participants really enjoyed the class and wished it was longer. They looked forward to meeting each week and getting their food and cooking together with the nutrition teacher and their families.” - site manager

Participants engaged their families to enjoy the virtual food demonstration classes.

“Thank you. Class was fun being able to cook with my girls and I learned so much.”
~ class participant

Overall, EFNEP Tulare created excitement with virtual nutrition education classes through food demonstrations, promoted family engagement, strengthened community partnerships, and empowered families to be resourceful, eat healthy on a budget and live a healthy lifestyle.

2 youth at stove stirring ingredients in 2 pots
Hands-on learning about cooking at home
Youth with plate of food
Showing off the final dish!

By Deepa Srivastava
Author - Nutrition, Family & Consumer Sciences Advisor