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Join the Culinary Movement

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The best method for helping someone make healthier nutrition choices goes beyond providing nutrition education and reciting key points from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It includes helping people develop the skills needed to translate information into real life—that is, living the DGA.

An essential ingredient in that recipe is knowing how to plan meals, shop for groceries and cook healthfully on a budget. From the Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry® Cooking Matters® program to the Teaching Kitchens movement started and promoted by David Eisenberg, MD, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, opportunities abound for health and fitness professionals to get involved in helping children, families and adults develop these skills. Early studies suggest this model works. In a small worksite pilot conducted by Eisenberg, who is the director of culinary nutrition, participants who completed a 14- or 16-week Teaching Kitchens program decreased body weight, waist circumference, blood pressure and total cholesterol. They also cooked more meals at home, read nutrition labels more often and felt more confident in cooking. Learn more and get involved at tkcollaborative.org/home/ and cookingmatters.org/volunteer.

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD

"Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician and obesity medicine physician, registered dietitian and health coach. She practices general pediatrics with a focus on healthy family routines, nutrition, physical activity and behavior change in North County, San Diego. She also serves as the senior advisor for healthcare solutions at the American Council on Exercise. Natalie is the author of five books and is committed to helping every child and family thrive. She is a strong advocate for systems and communities that support prevention and wellness across the lifespan, beginning at 9 months of age."

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November-December 2020 IDEA Fitness Journal

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