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Back in the Kitchen

A man stands behind a table while stirs a glass bowl of chopped Brussels sprouts, while being filmed.
Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad, featuring VA Northern Indiana Director, Michael Hershman

When the pandemic shut down a popular healthy cooking class, some “VA Food Network” stars were born.

Nutrition and Food Services at Northern Indiana Health Care (VANIHCS) teaches Veterans to cook healthy dishes in their kitchens. Veterans came to the facility to learn how to make nutritious choices and sample the creations.

But the pandemic put a hold on the in-person demos.

“Our classes are one of the most popular offered by the facility. We would often have a waiting list,” said Tiane Bianski, VANIHCS dietitian.

The dietitians knew they needed to figure out how to get Veterans access to healthy cooking in a safe and effective way.

They got together with VANIHCS public affairs and started videoing a monthly recipe demonstration to share on social media.

“Our 2-minute video includes an ingredient list, preparation steps and final product. We like to have fun with our videos. We invite leadership, we dress-up for special occasion videos and try to keep it interesting,” said Bianski.

The videos are so successful they  now offer the six-class series to Veterans through Veteran Video Connect (VVC).

Veterans can take classes or just try a new and healthy recipe from the comfort of their home. It’s also given Veterans who weren’t able to get to in-person classes an opportunity to learn and start cooking.

Thanks to the nutritionists and public affairs folks working together, Veterans can get back to the kitchen and to making yummy yet healthy choices. Bon appétit!

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