|Reviewers Comments: ||"Cooking the MyPyramid Way" is a fun way to get participants excited about cooking healthy foods. Modeled after a cooking show, the DVD features two nutritionists as the hosts, and several demonstrators preparing recipes from each of the food groups: milk, fruits, grains, meats & beans, oils, and vegetables. There are three recipes for each food group, plus a short introduction talk from the hosts. A three minute testimonial is also available as part of the DVD Extra, where one woman discusses her inspiring story of weight loss.
The introduction talk from the hosts resembles a morning talk show. The hosts discuss MyPyramid and the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as well as important topics such as moderation, proportionality, and physical activity guidelines. While this segment provides a nice overview, the hosts speak rapidly and cover difficult concepts quickly. The video may need to be combined with additional class time and review to allow participants to fully grasp the subject matter. This portion of the DVD features great animation and its rapid pace may appeal to teenagers or those with short attention spans.
During the Food Groups & Recipes section, one of the dietitians observes as a demonstrator prepares a menu item. The recipes prepared are all easy, healthy, and low cost. Most of them include colorful fruits and vegetables, making them look enticing and colorful in the video. The ingredients and instructions are shown quickly at the beginning of the recipe preparation, and the nutritional information is shown at the end. On the menu screen, there is an option where you can go back and view the recipes and nutritional information only (without preparation) for longer, or you can view the recipes and print them from the Web site online.
As the demonstrator prepares the recipes, she often explains and defines important cooking concepts and terms, such as how to fold in an ingredient, and what a quick cooking bread is. She occasionally mentions food safety topics, such as how and when to wash fresh fruit. The nutritionist explains the nutritional importance of the ingredients being used, and stresses the use of low fat, sugar, and sodium items. She also gives examples where other items can be substituted for taste and/or lower cost preferences, such as using other fruit in the "Grapeadillas" recipe, or using frozen blueberries instead of fresh in the "Fruit and Yogurt Muffins". Some of the nutritionist’s messages relating to servings of various food groups may be confusing or misleading to viewers. It is important to note to participants that although the entire recipe may contain a cup of dairy (or vegetable/fruit, etc), this does not mean that their portion of the recipe includes a cup of dairy to be counted towards their daily recommended intake.
The recipes prepared are unique and look delicious on screen. Since parts of some recipes are precooked or prepared beforehand, the recipe preparation may appear easier than it actually is. Some of the recipes use equipment such as a blender or a slow cooker. The video can be shown all at once, or in chapters. There is no set sequence, so certain recipes may be eliminated or shown in a different order.
This video can be a great tool to enhance any food, nutrition or cooking class. It can be especially helpful in nutrition classes in which a kitchen is unavailable or food preparation is not an option, although in this case, educators should be prepared for hungry participants following the video!
NOTE: This video is part of the Get Fresh! Cooking program series. For other videos in the series, please see Get Fresh! presents Cooking for the HEALTH of it! and Cooking with Get Fresh!