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‘Project Change’ Hopes To Encourage Healthy Eating Habits

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Cooking Matters classes teach families how to prepare healthy meals (credit: CBS)

Cooking Matters classes teach families how to prepare healthy meals (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4)- Researchers at National Jewish Health are hoping to prove that it’s never too late to change when it comes to healthy eating habits.

“Project Change” is a program designed to control health through activity, nutrition and group education.

On a Tuesday night in a church kitchen, there’s a cooking class of a different kind. A small group of children and parents are learning proper techniques when it comes to chopping vegetables.

“Where’s a lot of the nutritional value in this? In the skin, so we’re going to leave the skin on,” said cooking class instructor Devon Ambler.

The goal of the program is not only to teach new skills but change people’s minds.

“Most of them are in the program because they’re struggling with weight,” said Ambler.

Many of the children enrolled in the classes are patients at National Jewish Health. Researchers hope a 14-week strategy including everything from cooking classes to games as exercise can alter behavior for good.

“They really get to experience that change in behavior and not just talk about it,” said Dr. Jane Robinson with National Jewish Health.

Adam Brass, 10, admits he showed up to the classes under duress.

“Because my parents forced me,” said Adam.

After a few weeks in class he’s already lost two pounds. Adam is reading labels and understanding nutrition.

The goal is that all families in the class make wise choices that turn into lasting changes.

Cooking Matters is a nutritional education program that offers the cooking classes for Project Change. Participants leave with free groceries to prepare the same meal they prepared in class, at home.

RELATED LINK: nationaljewish.org/healthinfo/lifestyle/nutrition/its-never-too-late-to-change

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