|Reviewers Comments: ||Designed to mimic a cooking show, Cooking with Get Fresh! can be a wonderful addition to SNAP-Ed nutrition and cooking classes, especially those in which a kitchen is unavailable or food preparation is not possible. Participants will enjoy watching the diverse dishes being prepared, and will learn from them and extra segments the DVD offers.
There are eight total recipes prepared on the DVD. Each recipe is easy to prepare with basic cooking equipment, uses readily available, low cost ingredients, and can easily fit into a healthy diet. Most of the recipes use richly-colored fruits and vegetables, making for beautiful, vibrant dishes. Specific recipe ingredients as well as nutrition information for each recipe is available on the Get Fresh! Web site.
In addition to the recipes, the DVD features two extra segments. One is the true story of a food demonstration specialist and her struggle with weight loss. She describes the lifestyle changes she made in her cooking, eating and exercise habits to make weight loss a reality. The other extra segment features an ethnobotanist , who discusses historically relevant plants to the Chickasaw Nation, including the “three sisters” – corn, squash, and legumes. He also talks about the importance of gardening and eating seasonally.
The video is hosted by a registered dietitian, who imparts tips on healthy eating, exercise and saving money as another person prepares the dish. The dietitian stresses portion control and moderation. She recommends parking the car far away at the supermarket for additional exercise, and taking advantage of farmers markets. She also talks about ways to save money on food and how to modify recipes.
As is typical of cooking shows, some of the food preparation (chopping, trimming, and thawing) is done beforehand, and not all of the cooking is done in real time. In addition, the brilliant, modern kitchen in which the food is prepared may not be typical of SNAP classrooms and participant kitchens.
The video quality is very good and easy to use and follow. Educators can either select a specific recipe to view, or watch the entire DVD. The pacing is good and the sound quality is clear, although the background music may be distracting to some participants. There is a cohesive continuity and a smooth overall flow to the video. The picture quality is excellent when viewed in a smaller frame but may decrease as the size of the frame (or the viewing screen) increases. Showing the recipe ingredients and instructions on the screen while the video is playing could further enhance the video.
While it would be hard to use as a stand-alone tool, this video can be a wonderful nutrition education resource for many SNAP-Ed classrooms by providing the color and excitement of food preparation without actually preparing food.
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! presents Cooking for the HEALTH of it!