Safety, good nutrition and tasty results are the focus of the classes

 Photo by Ashley Barnas 

‘Cook, Learn, Eat’ is a free cooking program available to University of Delaware students this fall and hopes to improve cooking confidence and safety. Classes are free for any UD student living in a residence hall; students should register in advance.

The program is offered in a two-class series — stovetop cooking and oven cooking. Sessions take place at 5 p.m. on the following dates: Sept. 13, Sept. 20, Oct. 11 and Oct. 18.

Each year, UD welcomes more than 4,000 students into residence halls. Many arrive with little experience preparing their own food. Not unlike the leading cause of fires in households nationwide, nuisance fire alarms in UD residence halls are largely due to cooking-related incidents.

“On- and off-campus cooking fires happen far too often,” said Kevin McSweeney, UD’s Fire Marshal. “Students can easily avoid then with the correct precautions.”

In addition to teaching students how to cook safely, the program also focuses on basic cooking skills and, by association, good nutrition. Research has linked cooking skills with higher quality food choices, particularly among young adults.

“Based on the class theme, you’ll make everything from frittatas and falafel to enchiladas and sweet potato fries,” said Kristin Wiens, a clinical instructor in Behavioral Health and Nutrition, who hopes novice cooks will attend the program. “All recipes are chosen based on taste and nutrition. They are also quick and easy to prepare.”

Ingredients, recipes and cooking tools are provided. The program also offers a variety of vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options. Classes are led by undergraduate nutrition majors, who manage all aspects of the program from recipe development to teaching. Dietetics senior Samantha Lampert thinks students will appreciate the hands-on approach to the classes.

“Cook, Learn, Eat is great for students at any skill level that want to make great meals and learn more about the kitchen.”

The program is run by Residence Life and Housing, Environmental Health and Safety and the Food and Nutrition Education Lab.