Cooking and Nutrition Classes Boost Health in Eatonville

Healthy Eatonville Place Kitchen for Hebni ClassesAdults who have or are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes are learning what and how much to eat to take good care of themselves in a series of hands-on cooking classes conducted by Hebni Nutrition Consultants (HNC) at Healthy Eatonville Place (HEP), a diabetes health and wellness center supported in part by WPHF, Florida Hospital and Sanofi Aventis in Eatonville.

HNC was awarded a two-year, $99,960 grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) to provide the cooking classes and nutrition education to Eatonville residents at risk for or with diabetes. The program began in April 2014 at the HEP. The grant also provided for the purchase of a portable kitchen that Hebni uses for its demonstrations.

Hebni has completed three, six-week sessions, including hands-on cooking classes and nutrition education centered on increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables to 45 individuals who are at risk of or have Type 2 diabetes at HEP.

Called Project Oasis, the program teaches participants how to cook healthy food. Each week participants receive a recipe card for the meal prepared in class and up to eight servings of fruits and vegetables and cooking utensils to help them make healthy meals at home for the family.

Health screenings for cholesterol, glucose levels, blood pressure, and Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements are provided in addition to weekly consumption surveys to assess the amount of fruits and vegetables the family consumes each week.

In addition, this summer, Hebni will provide the K.Y.D.S. Take Charge! (Keeping Your Diet Straight) after-school and summer program to target underserved elementary and middle school students who are at-risk for overweight and obesity. The program will be held during the summer at the Healthy Eatonville Place.

K.Y.D.S. Take Charge! educates youth about proper nutrition and exercise. Components of the program include hands-on cooking demonstrations, weekly tennis lessons and exercise classes, and regular BMI (Body Mass Index) readings to monitor their progress. The K.Y.D.S. program uses the USDA’s evidence-based Team Nutrition curriculum that has activities for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Inc. is a community-based, not-for-profit organization formed in Orlando in 1995 to educate high-risk, culturally diverse populations about nutrition strategies to prevent diet-related diseases. Hebni’s mission is to provide culturally appropriate nutrition education and intervention strategies to prevent diet-related diseases.

Click here for more information about Hebni.