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NMSU Cooperative Extension Service to offer virtual diabetes cooking classes

New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service will present a series of upcoming virtual cooking classes designed to teach adults with diabetes how to cook healthy meals.


The series, called Kitchen Creations, consists of four weekly classes, during which participants learn food safety, how to plan meals, how to read food labels and how to manage carbohydrates.

A Spanish series will kick off at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 22. Beatriz Favela, a Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agent at the Doña Ana County Extension Office, and Laura McCann, a registered dietitian nutritionist, will teach the Spanish classes. An English series will kick off at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27. Favela and Janae Kraus, a registered dietitian nutritionist, will teach the English classes. Both series will take place via Zoom, and participants will be able to access the classes with an electronic device or by phone.

“I am very happy to be able to offer the classes in both English and Spanish with the hope that residents from Doña Ana County can benefit from them,” Favela said. “All classes are being offered via Zoom, but it is still a great learning experience. The Kitchen Creations team has come up with ways for people to still be able to learn the cooking strategies and see how easy it is to follow the Kitchen Creation recipes.”

According to recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11.3 percent of adults in New Mexico had diabetes as of 2018. Research has shown that lifestyle changes, including healthier eating, can help manage diabetes and reduce the risk of complications, Favela said.

“Many people with diabetes struggle with what to eat,” said Cassandra Vanderpool, a registered dietitian nutritionist at NMSU. “Kitchen Creations opens their eyes to a wide variety of options to enjoy healthy eating. We are pleased to offer these classes online during the pandemic so participants can learn how to successfully manage diabetes at home.”

For one Doña Ana County resident with Type 1 diabetes, the classes “provided the tools and resources to get motivated in taking time for me and making my health a priority.”

“It made me accountable for reporting my progress on a weekly basis and created healthy habits of watching my carb intake more closely, pairing the correct foods to avoid huge spikes in blood sugars and adding daily physical activity,” the resident, Eva Madrid, said. “Even though the class was over Zoom, it still provided a positive learning environment where participants could share and network.”

Kitchen Creations is free and open to all New Mexico residents, but registration is required. To enroll in the upcoming virtual class series, contact Favela at 575-202-2376 or 575-525-6649.

For a complete schedule of classes in other New Mexico counties, visit https://bit.ly/3a97CJJ.

NMSU, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. If you are an individual with a disability who needs an auxiliary aid or service to participate, contact Favela by Oct. 18.

Kitchen Creations is sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program and offered by the Cooperative Extension Service as part of the “Paths to Health NM: Tools for Healthier Living” initiative. To learn more, visit www.pathstohealthnm.org.