Providing nutritious meals for young children is a consistent worry Parents as Teachers director Lori Soo Hoo and PAT teacher Becky Suderman encounter from parents.
With a 4-year-old and a 1-month old, Amelia Breugem of Hillsboro does not have a lot of time to prepare meals.
“Peanut butter and jelly sandwichs are super quick,” she said.
With the help of Kansas State University Research and Extension Home Economist Nancy Pihl, Soo Hoo organized the “Make-n-Take Meals Event” Saturday in a classroom kitchen at Marion High School. The two-hour class was designed to give parents healthy, simple, and fast recipes for their families.
In the first part of the class, Pihl gave parents information about saving money at the grocery store — for example, boneless, skinless chicken breasts can cost nearly 30 cents more per pound than split breasts.
Then the class of 11 mothers divided into teams of two or three and cooked two dishes. The first was chicken enchiladas, which required six ingredients, six steps, and a cooking time of about 30 minutes.
They also fixed meatballs using five ingredients and five steps with a cooking time of 20 minutes.
Each mother was given a binder with recipes and health information. They were also able to bring home both dishes to serve to their families later.
The class was paid for with a Kansas Health Education Grant. PAT has used approximately $13,000 from the Kansas Health Foundation this year.