New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service will offer a series of cooking classes designed to teach adults with diabetes how to cook healthy meals.
The four-class series, Kitchen Creations, is sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health and kicks off Thursday, Feb. 7, at Mayfield High School, 1955 N. Valley Drive, in Las Cruces.
Over four consecutive Thursdays, participants will learn food safety, how to plan meals, read food labels and manage carbohydrates. They also will prepare and sample meals, said Beatriz Favela, a Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agent in Doña Ana County, who will teach the classes with Janae Kraus.
“Kitchen Creations is a great program that supports individuals with diabetes, and I’m very happy it’s available for community members in Doña Ana County,” Favela said.
In Las Cruces, the classes will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28. The class also will be offered through Cooperative Extension Service offices in Bernalillo, Chaves, Grant, Lincoln, Otero, Quay and Valencia counties.
According to the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 11.7 percent of adults in New Mexico had diabetes. Research has shown that lifestyle changes, including healthier eating, can help manage diabetes and reduce the risk of complications.
“Many people with diabetes struggle with what to eat,” said Cassandra Vanderpool, registered dietitian and Extension diabetes coordinator for NMSU. “Kitchen Creations goes beyond giving nutrition information. Participants apply what they are learning through hands-on cooking and other activities to help them succeed at home.”
Kitchen Creations served more than 600 New Mexico residents last year.
“A participant in Luna County reported that she lost eight pounds, normalized her blood sugar, stabilized her A1C and lowered her cholesterol because of the things she learned in this class,” Vanderpool said.
The class is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To enroll in the Las Cruces classes, contact the Doña Ana County Cooperative Extension Service office at 575-525-6649 by Jan. 31. NMSU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. If you are an individual with a disability who needs an auxiliary aid or service to participate, contact Favela at 575-525-6649.
For a complete schedule of classes being offered in other counties, visit https://kitchencreations.nmsu.edu/#anchor_168588 or call 505-850-0186, 505-703-2343 or toll-free 888-900-2629.
The Kitchen Creations program is sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program and offered by NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service as part of the “Paths to Health NM: Tools for Healthier Living initiative.” To learn more, visit www.pathstohealthnm.org.