Mar 19, 2010 9:14 PM by Ashley Korslien/KRTV News

Montana child-care cooks get some hands-on training

Great Falls area child-care cooks were busy slicing, dicing, and learning on Friday, as the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services hosted training sessions across the state to focus on homemade cooking for child-care facilities.

Montana is one of 18 states that received a Team Nutrition Training Grant to host these sessions.

Melaine Latray of Head Start noted, "I feed over 250 kids per meal, breakfast, lunch and snacks for my program, so some of these recipes aren't the best but they can be passed on to the parents to use."

Montana child-care cooks get some hands-on trainingThe annual classes are sponsored through a team nutrition grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and participants must follow nutritional guidelines.

Mary Musi of the DPHHS Child & Adult Food Care Program said, "We're here practicing foods that meet that criteria and to help children be healthy. It's wonderful work, these are very important people in our community who feed children when they are away from their parents."

This year the focus is on utilizing more vegetables, and using healthy and cost-effective foods while cooking.

Katie Appel-Goble, cooking class instructor, said, "Teaching them to eat healthy, practice healthy eating habits and for them to turn around and share it with other people is probably the most valuable thing we can do. Teaching them that they can eat that way for less money is very important too. Doesn't have to be costly."

The class does more than just teach the cooks -parents are able to receive the recipes, which could help children eat healthier foods while in their homes.

Latray noted, "The budget and the money to buy the fresh foods, they sometimes think it's easier to do the processed foods and don't have the time and money to do the fresh foods."

Approximately 120 people around the state are attending the classes this week, and the class will be held in Helena on Saturday.

Cooks get hands-on training