Members, parents and leaders of the Variety Boys & Girls Club (VBGC) kicked off a program to raise awareness about healthy cooking and eating habits to fight the high obesity and diabetes rates in Boyle Heights.
The "Goya Cooks With Mi Plato," cooking classes program was developed as a way to bring to the community the My Plate/Mi Plato initiative, a part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign.
Sixty parents over a twelve-week period this summer will learn weekly how to cook recipes that compose a healthy plate including the basic food groups.
Robert A. Unanue, Emerging Markets manager, Goya Foods, was recognized by the Club for providing the funding for the program which also includes the creation of an edible urban garden, to further encourage members to live a healthy lifestyle by learning about gardening and using home grown ingredients.
Led by Club board members Hector Galvan, Javier Valenzuela, and Club Executive Director, Cris Arzate, a group of young VBGC members, declared their independence from unhealthy foods by making a pledge to stay away from high sugar, fat, sodium and large portions. The pledge was following by a tour of the class kitchen space, urban garden areas, as well as a tasting of Goya Mi Plato healthy recipes, which are being taught to the participants in the cooking classes program.
Club leaders and Goya hope this program will be a catalyst to combating the high obesity in this vibrant community. Statistics show that 35% of adults in Boyle Heights are obese compared to 21% in both Los Angeles County and California. By engaging mothers and families and sharing with them new healthy ideas and recipes more families will learn first-hand how Mexican and Latino cuisine is healthy if you use healthy ingredients and recipes. For MyPlate/MIPlato healthy eating tips and recipes, go to http://www.goya.com/english/myplate.html.