Many times, busy families are tempted to get dinner by ordering into a speaker and having it passed to them though the car window. Who hasn’t? And at times, cooking from scratch can seem daunting, even when we have the time. The Chisago City Farmers Market (CCFM) is coming to the rescue!
Encouraging community residents of all ages to eat more fruits and vegetables has always been a challenge. More than two-thirds of U.S. adults and almost one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases. Cooking demonstrations and sampling at farmers markets has been shown to increase the purchase and consumption of a featured vegetable or fruit. The Chisago City Farmers Market went a step further from simple product sampling and developed a cooking demo project.
Thanks to the funding from Partners in Healthy Living (PiHL), CCFM was able to establish a cooking demo station in order to promote the consumption and utilization of fresh fruits and vegetables found in season at the farmers market. CCFM Manager, Cecilia Coulter, is on the Community Leadership Team and lends her expertise in Community Healthy Eating. The cooking demonstrations are geared to youth and their parents for maximum engagement and retention to teach simple ways to prepare main meals or handy snacks. This project increases nutritional knowledge and activities with fresh fruits and vegetables and is an integral part of the farmers market organization.
Cecilia Coulter, Manager of the Chisago City Farmers Market stated, “Our cooking demos are a hit. Growers are selling out of the featured veggies, customers love the recipes we are showcasing and they are taking home the recipe cards. Super successful! THANK YOU, PIHL, for making it possible for us to offer these demos to our community members.”