Before Celsa Trejo took Maria Vele’s nutrition class at Park School, a free county-wide initiative for adults provided by Eat Smart New York Westchester, she studied only the price of food items, not the nutrition label, when shopping. Now, having completed the six-week course designed to promote healthy cooking choices, she pays careful attention to the nutrient content labels for details about fat, calories, sodium, sugar and more.
“It helps me a lot,” said Trejo, who cooks for her family.
During the final session on November 21, Vele, a bilingual nutrition educator who taught the class in Spanish, reviewed some of the class goals, encouraging all to use less sugar, fat and salt in cooking; to limit saturated fats; and to eat five fruits and vegetables a day.
Vele and Marcela Levin, parent coordinator at Park School, handed out certificates to all who completed the course. Everyone feasted on a homemade meal of cucumber, arugula and quinoa salad; tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil; guacamole; chicken; rice; and potatoes with sauce.
Lorena Guzman, one of roughly 10 graduates, said, “This class has been really helpful and it’s been amazing because it teaches you clear strategies on how to create delicious dishes but at the same time … they’re healthy.”