Cooking demos: What’s holding you back?

There’s never been a better time to use cooking demos for nutrition and health education. Your clients and students will love seeing something new and engaging on your Zoom calls or social media pages.

Even if you’ve never done a cooking demo, we make it easy for you! Our books and PowerPoint shows are based on simple, tested recipes. We guide you step-by-step through the process of planning and executing a cooking demo.

One of my favorites is our MyPlate Cooking Demo Ideas Book & CD. It has something for everyone – recipes for children and adults, different cooking methods, and even a 5-step plan to prepare for your demo.

Here are some ideas for virtual cooking demos you could do using our MyPlate Cooking Demo Ideas Book & CD:

  1. Four Ways to MyPlate – A series for new or busy cooks, featuring four basic cooking methods for MyPlate recipes:
    -Clever cooking with a rice cooker
    -Simple skillet suppers
    -Marvelous microwave meals
    -Fast meals with the slow cooker
  2. Just for Kids MyPlate – A class where students watch you prepare a MyPlate recipe, then try it at home with a caregiver’s help.
  3. The Three S’s – MyPlate Sides, Salads, & Snacks: Go live on Facebook or YouTube with short cooking demos.
  4. Ban Breakfast Boredom with MyPlate – a class or series featuring simple recipes for the first meal of the day.
  5. Bonus! Shopping with MyPlate PowerPoint presentation – Offer this add-on to your class or series. With speaker’s notes and handouts, we’ve done all the work for you.

With cell phones, tablets, and laptops, anyone can record their own food demo. Let your clients and students choose a recipe to demonstrate for the group — they’ll love being a celebrity chef for the day!

More ideas include cook-a-longs. Now they can cook with you while you are using Zoom or going live on social media channels.

The same tips apply:

  1. Think about how you can show a meal that is relevant to your audience considering local food sources, seasonal and pandemic availability, cultural and local tastes, and of course nutrition lessons and making a  healthy plate.
  2. Measure out all the ingredients so no one has to watch you do that.
  3. Consider having multiple stages pre-prepared. For example, have an item baked or cooked if it takes a long time to do that. So you can show how to do it and then what it looks like when done.
  4. Always practice a dish a few times so it feels familiar and easy to you.
  5. Smile and have fun!

Nutrition Education in the COVID-19 Era

What does nutrition and health education look like in the COVID-19 era? People want to know how to …

  • Stay healthy, boost their immune system, and reduce their chance of catching the virus.
  • Prevent or manage chronic diseases, like diabetes, that can lead to serious COVID-19 complications.
  • Save money at the supermarket and cook healthy meals at home.

We have a collection of COVID-19 Era Nutrition Education materials to help you teach these topics. But what about social distancing and people who want to learn in a no-contact setting? The PowerPoint shows in our COVID-19 collection make it easy to offer engaging online workshops that meet your clients’ needs.

Here’s one example of how you could use our shows:

Saving money at the supermarket is a hot topic right now. You could offer a two-part online series that appeals to the broad audience of folks who, pre-COVID, were in the habit of eating out a lot.

Start out by dispelling the myth that healthy food is expensive – our Healthy Eating on a Budget PowerPoint presentation proves it. Your clients will learn:

  • Cost per ounce and nutrition facts for choices from each MyPlate food group.
  • How to plan meals, build a shopping list, and limit food waste.
  • Budget-friendly ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
  • Lots of other money-saving tips.

Since saving money means cooking at home more, the second part of your online series should be our 25 Ingredients Into 15 Fast Healthy Meals PowerPoint show. With real photos of real food, your audience will learn to prepare a week’s worth of low-fat, high-fiber meals. We even provide tips on how to use our recipes for your own cooking demo in case you want to add that to your online workshop.

If this idea for a two-part workshop series doesn’t work for you, just change it up. Maybe split the information into 15-minute sessions. And all of our PowerPoint shows come with downloadable handouts that you can send to clients as a follow-up to what they’ve learned.

If you are planning in-person classes or events, check out our new custom printed face masks