AgriLife helps to keep health

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By Rachel Leland
Staff Writer

With almost a month gone from 2015, students may be looking to restrengthen their New Year’s commitments to healthy eating.

Those wanting to do so can learn about healthy cooking options from 6 to 8 p.m. next Monday at the Creative Arts Building of the Extraco Events Center, where the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present the 2015 Dinner Tonight Healthy Cooking School.

Baylor’s Dr. Janelle Walter, professor of family and consumer sciences, plans to speak about healthy and balanced meal planning.
The event will feature on-stage cooking demonstrations and a review of the Mediterranean-themed dishes prepared by an on-stage panel.

“Studies have shown that meals consumed out of the home usually contain more fat, calories and sodium than foods that a person prepares in their own kitchen,” said Jessica Theimer, coordinator for the program.

The program, which has taken place for the past three years, aims to provide guests with tools that help combat unhealthy eating with smarter menu choices.

“With obesity on a rise, our goal of the cooking school is to educate people on basic cooking skills, menu planning strategies and healthy living tips that they can incorporate into their everyday routine,” Theimer said.

Theimer emphasized the importance of creating healthy eating habits in a person’s 20s to increase the likelihood that they will continue later in life. She also espoused the benefits of eating healthily as a college student.

“Eating nutritious food affects your current energy level which will make you feel your best.  When you feel your best, you can handle stress better, and we all know college students are stressed,” Theimer said.

Walter said she was concern that many students do not have variety and are lacking nutrition in the meals they eat.

“They don’t really see the need to plan, therefore when they go to prepare a meal they don’t have anything in their kitchen,” Walter said.

Walter hopes to educate students and other guests on the science of meal planning, beginning with meat and working the way down to drinks or dessert.

The cost for the event is $15 for students and $25 for others. This price includes a cookbook, a goody bag, door prizes and a chance to visit other vendors.

Those interested in attending the Dinner Tonight Healthy Cooking School can find registration information at