In 2015, Northern Indiana VA Nutrition and Food Services department launched Healthy Teaching Kitchen classes. The classes allow Veterans to watch and participate in healthy recipe demonstrations while sampling the delicious dishes.

The six-class series was organized to educate and assist Veterans to make healthier recipes in their own homes. The curriculum is designed around the Healthy Plate method of eating, which emphasizes portion-controlled meals, including vegetables, fruit, lean protein, dairy and fiber rich grains.

Using seasoning enhances food flavor without salt

The classes are focused on a food category topic and each introduces recipes that offer different methods of cooking and seasoning to enhance food flavor without using salt.

Often had waiting list to enroll

“This is one of the most popular classes we offer,”  said dietitian Tiane Bianski. “We would often have a waiting list to get enrolled. Veterans with fluctuating work schedules and travel restrictions prevented them from participating in the face-to-face classes. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, all classes had to be put on hold.”

The pandemic required the dietitians to get creative with their classes. With the help of the public affairs office, they began recording monthly recipe demonstrations. The two-minute video includes an ingredient list, preparation steps and a final product. The videos are then shared on social media platforms to increase access to healthier cooking education.

Videos via VA Video Connect and Facebook

“This new method has become popular with our Veteran population and the public who view the videos on our social media outlets,” said Tiane.

The social media videos have been so successful that the Nutrition and Food Services department decided to take it a step further. The six-class series is now offered to Veterans through VA’s Video Connect. Veterans now have the capability to take the classes or just try a new and healthy recipe from the comfort of their home.

Watch the Videos on the Northern Indiana VA Facebook page.

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6 Comments

  1. gregory anderson July 21, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    I would have loved to recommend courses like this to veterans I know who need help making food more than just edible. However…

    The link shared to varied Social Media is only for sharing this blog post. They’ve decided not to share their material actually on any other format than Facebook. This is NOT what is considered “choosing your platform”. The VA is buying its own press releases and patting itself on the back without actually functioning in the 21st century.

    Facebook is a part and parcel of the serious efforts and plans to overthrow our Democracy, by folks self-proclaiming to be patriots at the expense of all who disagree with their narrow-minded conspiracy theories, violent actions, and more. It is also a place where gun trafficking is occurring. Zuckerberg’s own testimony before Congress long ago, when asked why anyone would sign up for Facebook and surrender all their private info for sale to the highest bidders, said it was because people are fools.

    Hello? Is the VA and are veterans going to pay attention to the facts?

    I’m ashamed to say I come to this time and again and find that these “infotainment” blogs posts are self-serving to the Administration without one ounce of real value to the veteran. I’m about ready to stop viewing any newsletter from the VA, since they expose their lie regarding their motto. Saying something doesn’t make it so, and apparently there are officers and committees who never learned this lesson over the centuries.

  2. David July 20, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    Please put the cooking videos on a VA website. Perhaps the VA’s Whole Health website? I no longer use social media. Thanks!

  3. Debra A July 19, 2022 at 9:38 am

    Maybe you all could have a link and folks could sign up for you to send an email filled with recipes? Thank you.

  4. Nik Micalone July 14, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    Addendum to my previous comment:
    By now, most people are aware of the insidious nature of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook program, that uses sophisticated algorithms to harvest private data from its users, for sale to whoever desires to use it, for whatever purpose. I for one, have unsubscribed from Facebook for the insidious, atrocious actions revealed by the congressional proceedings. In fact, I have unsubscribed from all Social Media. It is interesting to note that Google, another notorious gatherer of private information, derived from its many programs, that while striving to present a benign posture, by allowing the victim to delete such data, also makes it complex and difficult by forcing the victim to follow convoluted procedures, in order to reclaim some privacy, and not become an item for sale, to be exploited for whatever reasons. Unfortunately, that causes us concerned citizens to miss out on material posted on Social Media. This harvesting of private data has motivated Europe to pass laws preventing this egregious behavior, thus protecting its citizens. We, here in the states, do not have these protections, probably due to the political machinations and lobbyists used by the owners of these media, who have become obscenely rich by their organizations operations. These Social Media organizations have become giants by buying up smaller Social Media companies, to add to their lucrative operations. Why, pray tell, is so compelling to use Facebook to convey practicable information, that can be more widely dissimulated by the present VA email information system, without exposing veterans to such odious behavior?

    [Editor: Facebook is the single largest place where we can reach Veterans each day. If you don’t use that, you can subscribe to or read this blog each day for the same information.]

  5. Nik Micalone July 14, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    The advent of video demonstrations ushered in the magic to demonstrate shills, which far surpasses the written word method. I believe the technique can be improved greatly, by adding a transcript of the video. This will enable the viewer to go over the finer points of the subject, that may be forgotten or misinterpreted by the viewer. It also removes the annoyance and wasted time of going over the whole video, to home in on a particular portion of the video that the viewer might wish to review. More importantly, it would allow the viewer to copy portions that are important to the viewer. There are many advantages that a transcript will provide. Adding a transcript will not require too much additional effort to the subject being presented, as most complex videos are scripted. Just saying.

  6. Homer W hills July 14, 2022 at 5:44 pm

    Where can i watch these videos without using Facebook???

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