Dining with Diabetes cooking classes planned

PARKERSBURG — People living with diabetes and their families are invited to participate in a free cooking class geared toward their special dietary needs.

The West Virginia University Extension Service will be holding four Dining With Diabetes classes every Thursday, from Oct. 12 to Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to noon at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1710 23rd St. in Parkersburg.

Classes will include taste testing of recipes which are healthy and use less fat, salt, and sugar without cutting taste, said Gwen Crum, families and health agent.

“It is a class for people with diabetes and their caretakers,” she said. “There will be an instructional piece that is done each week by dietitians.”

The recipe tasting allows people to try different recipes to see if they would like them without having to buy the ingredients themselves and risk not liking them, Crum said.

Participants will have the opportunity to taste a variety of main dishes, side dishes and desserts.

They will talk about ways to fix fruits and vegetables as opposed to opening a can.

“We will have some new ingredients you can add to it to give it some additional flavor,” Crum said. “We are using seasonings as opposed to salt.”

With fruits, it can be utilizing yogurt and making parfaits and using fruits as desserts.

“It is preparing things in a way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake,” Crum said. “It is a way to keep the carbohydrates low and keep the dishes lean.”

The program has been in the county for several years.

“We have gotten a lot of positive feedback about the classes,” Crum said.

For many, it is an opportunity to meet others dealing with the disease.

“It helps people make connections,” Crum said.

During the classes, the presenters will talk about exercise and the benefits of physical activity which helps to decrease people’s blood sugar.

“There will be a different speaker each week who presents the lesson,” Crum said. “They will be able to answer many of the questions related to the diabetes.”

Each class is approximately two hours long. The classes are free.

People must pre-register to participate so they will have enough food to accommodate everyone who attends.

To sign up or for more information, call 304-424-1960.