Meal Planning is one DVD within a series called Meals in Minutes with comedian Stevie Ray acting as host. It was created by Learning ZoneXpress to teach the basics of meal planning, and is appropriate for anyone with the opportunity to plan a meal and a willingness to learn. Stevie Ray’s humor may be a bit eccentric for some, but adds some entertainment to the teaching process.
The video covers basic meal planning, but also mentions a number of other important topics such as:
- food safety during meal preparation
- buying and preparing food on a budget
- identifying food groups within a meal, and
- nutrition content of some specific foods.
The featured recipe is a very basic chicken noodle soup. The nutrient values for this recipe are not provided. Stevie Ray gives commentary while performing step-by-step preparation. The video incorporates slides to summarize main points, which is a nice feature. There are no alternative playing options before or during the viewing of this DVD; it plays all the way through in one easy step. The picture and audio quality are adequate.
The teaching materials that accompany this DVD are accessible for free through the Learningzonexpress.com Web site and include a review worksheet with ten questions, a teacher’s key for the worksheet, and the recipe for chicken noodle soup. The sample questions are appropriate for open discussion with the targeted age group, but the educator should have some background knowledge of nutrition and meal planning to expand on the video’s simple topics.
This video would be appropriate to add to an existing curriculum on meal planning or cooking on a budget. It’s short and discusses very simple concepts; no prior nutrition knowledge is required for the participant to understand this video’s content. Please note that while the information provided is consistent with the current nutrition recommendations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, the host of this video is not a nutritionist and the term “food pyramid” is used. Also, while this video could be a helpful tool to educate participants on meal planning, a SNAP-Ed provider with limited resources may want to consider the cost of the video before making this purchase.