Story and photo by Lara Alexander
The lunchroom of Cedar Valley Community School in Lynnwood was full Thursday night with parents, children and community members ready to learn about healthy foods. Co-sponsored by Swedish/Edmonds and the Edmonds School District, Healthier Choices is a series of free family events aimed at helping families learn fun ways to make healthy food choices and prepare easy, affordable breakfasts and snacks.
Thursday night’s event featured cooking demonstrations and nutrition advice from internationally known culinary and television personality Graham Kerr and Swedish/Edmonds registered dietitian Megan Ellison. Kerr is best known as The Galloping Gourmet. He cheerfully greeted audience members before the cooking demonstration. “I was just telling my daughter that I used to watch you on TV before there was a Food Network channel!” said one mom.
Kerr lives in Island County and is committed to helping people make healthy, creative, lifestyle changes to increase consumption of fresh, local edible plants and seafood. “I was the Paula Deen of my day,” said Kerr, referring to his past as a celebrity chef who paid no mind to calories, until his wife suffered a stroke and a heart attack. Using his knowledge of tastes and aromas, Kerr says, “I realized that I could reinvent food for her so that it brings pleasure and not harm.”
“We all know childhood obesity is a concern across the U.S. and here in Snohomish County,” says Ellison. “Our goal is to show families how to sustain an easy, healthy meal plan that includes fun and tasty options that kids will want to eat.”
According to the Snohomish Health District, students who are obese or overweight report lower grades, lower expectations to go far in school, and more disabilities than students who are not obese or overweight.
The next Healthier Choices events are scheduled for:
- Thursday, Febuary 23
- Thursday, March 15
- Saturday, April 28
Times and locations for these events will be announced in the near future.