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Combating Obesity with Slower Food

Chef Amy Ponzoli from Cordon Bleu brings healthy habits to Livsey.

Livsey community families had the chance to learn about healthy, affordable and sustainable eating habits Tuesday evening.

Amy Ponzoli, chef instructor and Slow Food Club faculty advisor at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, addressed the group of parents, staff, and even a few students at Livsey Elementary School. The group was small but enthusiastic. 

Among the topics discussed were First Lady Michelle Obama’s program to combat childhood obesity, Livsey Elementary’s partnership with Le Cordon Bleu’s Slow Food Club and how to provide nutritious meals to a family with time and budget constraints.

What is Slow Food?

The slow food movement “is about good, clean, fair food,” said Ponzoli. “A lot of people want to know where their food is coming from.” 

Ponzoli stressed avoiding processed food, buying local ingredients and understanding how to conveniently and affordably substitute healthy ingredients into everyday meals.

“Read your labels,” said Ponzoli. “Find out what’s in your food.”

Ponzoli recommended visiting http://www.georgiaorganics.org to learn where to find locally grown food and how to get involved in the slow food movement.

Combatting Childhood Obesity

“Childhood obesity has become an epidemic,” said Ponzoli.

Ponzoli is among a large group of chefs nationwide who have partnered with Let’s Move! The Partnership for a Healthier America, a Michelle Obama-sponsored organization aiming to improve the health of the nation’s children through several means, including getting chefs involved in schools’ nutrition choices.

Schools can find available chefs to partner with and vice versa at http://www.letsmove.gov by following the “Take Action” link.

Ponzoli hopes to get her Slow Food Club more involved at Livsey, posting recipes in the school newsletter and improving nutrition for Livsey students and their families.

Batch Cooking

According to Ponzoli, the busy parent need only cook twice a week to provide home-cooked meals for the whole week. This is not accomplished by putting leftovers in the refrigerator, rather by freezing extra portions to be served at a later date.

“Always cook more than you need and freeze the rest,” said Ponzoli. “If you’re a family of four, stop cooking four portions – cook 12 portions.”

Ponzoli described building a “bank” of frozen, prepared meals and drawing from this bank on busy nights.

Ponzoli offered many useful tips for eating healthier without sacrificing a great deal of time or money, and she aims to further her involvement in the community. Kindergarten teacher Laura Straub is the partnership’s faculty sponsor at Livsey, and Principal Dr. Melanie Castelle was an enthusiastic participant in Tuesday’s meeting.

For more information on Le Cordon Bleu’s Slow Food Club, visit http://www.slowfoodlcb.com.

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