Dedicated Parent Teaches Cooking Class at Indian Lake Elementary

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Sutherland says no to Hamburger Helper.

By Sue Moore

Parents at Indian Lake Elementary School cooked up plenty of goodies in a kids’ cooking class that was organized by one of the parents, Sonya Sutherland. She aimed at teaching the parents and kids to cook with real food and reduce the use of processed food.

“I’ve never done this before,” said Sutherland. “I sent flyers home with the kids and found 13 families that wanted to participate. I’m no Martha Stewart, but I think children are more likely to have a better relationship with their food if they can touch it and work with it themselves.”

Sutherland provided recipes that included chicken and dumplings, Mexican casserole (to replace hamburger helper), macaroni and cheese, fruit and brown sugar as a breakfast idea, and no bake oatmeal cookies. Then, when ten children and their parents actually signed up, the challenge was to figure out the amount of ingredients needed for each recipe, multiply by ten and actually purchase the ingredients. “I had to do all the math in my head, then bring all the mixing bowls, cutting boards, and measuring cups. They did bring their own knives and nobody got hurt doing their slicing and dicing.”

Each family paid $25 for the ingredients and if there was any money left over, Sutherland hoped to give it to the PTSO at Indian Lake. The child participating had to be of school age and have an adult accompanying them.

Sutherland handed out a list of the things families would NOT be eating by making the food in the recipes they prepared in her cooking class. As an example, by making their own mac and cheese from scratch, they would not be eating: calcium carbonate, sodium tripolyphosphate, citric acid, sodium phosphate, yellow 5 and 6. The list was even longer for enchilada hamburger helper, Campbell’s chicken and dumplings, and instant oatmeal.

Students who participated had this to say:

“It sounded like fun because I like cookies,” Arianna Wright said.

“The use of knives got me here,” said Reed Tassell. “I’ll get a Cub Scout badge for preparing a meal.”

“I like chopping all the veggies,” said Ashley Gose.

“I like to help make bread,” said Cassidy Peck.

“It turned out to be fun, but I had a hard time leaving my video games,” according to Kyle Feasel.

“I like the no bake cookies, or anything sweet,” said Mya Martinez.

“We wanted to support the PTSO and my daughter Jenna loves to work with food. I also have two boys at home who would love to do this the next time do a cooking class,” reported Helen Schramer.

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