|Reviewers Comments: ||The Get Fresh! presents Cooking for the HEALTH of it! DVD can be an innovative nutrition education tool for SNAP-Ed providers. Like a televised cooking program, recipes are prepared on screen from start to finish. Recipes are organized into one of five categories: overweight/obesity prevention, heart disease prevention, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention and osteoporosis prevention. Each category features two recipes. Some extra features available on the DVD, in addition to the recipe preparation, include heart healthy tips, a short segment on eating more produce, a personal story about diabetes prevention, and a segment on portion size.
All of the recipes on the DVD are prepared by a Get Fresh! participant, with the surveillance of a registered dietitian. Most of the recipes use beautiful, brightly colored fresh fruits and vegetables. As the recipes are prepared, both the cook and the dietitian provide helpful explanations and tips, such as adding fiber to meals to help feel full and substituting seasonal of frozen vegetables to reduce recipe cost. Recipes are prepared in a beautiful modern kitchen, which may not be representative of SNAP classrooms and participant kitchens.
Recipes are generally healthy, low cost, use fairly common ingredients and are easy to prepare. Ingredients and preparation instructions are listed quickly on the screen before the recipe preparation begins. Educators may want to pause the screen for participants to read this information. A slideshow of all the information for the recipes included on the DVD is available in the “Extras” section. In addition, all recipes from the DVD are available on the web site, however recipe preparation may differ slightly for some of the recipes. If the recipes are accessed from the web site homepage, they can be viewed and printed individually. Nutrition information per serving is included on the DVD and on the web site. Many of the recipes on the web site are accompanied by beautiful color pictures of the prepared recipe.
The “Features” section is wonderful for additional tips for disease prevention. Segments from this section discuss planning meals in advance, weight loss tips, portion control, serving size, and reducing fat and carbohydrates in meals. The information provided on the DVD is consistent with MyPyramid and the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. While the “Food Guide Pyramid” is mentioned during one of the cooking segments, the participant is referring cup size consistent with the current MyPyramid recommendations, rather than an older version of the Food Guide Pyramid.
Although this is a wonderful resource, there are a few things that could make it even better. While it is beneficial to have the recipe preparation embedded in the scenes and categorized by disease prevent, it would also be nice to select and view each recipe being prepared individually or list which recipe is being prepared in each scene on the menu title screen. Overall, the picture quality is excellent when viewed in a smaller frame but the quality decreases as the size of the frame (or the viewing screen) increases. Finally, the background music may be distracting to some viewers.
Overall, like the other videos in this series, this DVD can be a great tool to enhance any food, nutrition or cooking class, and especially helpful in nutrition classes in which a kitchen is unavailable or food preparation is not an option.
NOTE: This video is part of the Get Fresh! Cooking program series. For other videos in the series, please see Get Fresh! Presents Cooking the MyPyramid Way and Get Fresh!