Library, hospital collaborate for Healthy Cooking Class Saturday

June 10, 2018 GMT

As the mother of four children ages 12-22, Kelli Keyes knows how difficult it can be to satisfy the palates of growing children with healthy, well-balanced meals that everyone at the table won’t only tolerate, but enjoy.

She also knows the importance of not breaking the bank in the process.

In an effort to promote healthy lifestyle choices for families and their loved ones, Columbus Public Library at 2 p.m. today is hosting its first-ever Healthy Cooking Class in the facility’s third-floor auditorium, 2504 14th St.

The free-of-charge event is being led by Joan Plummer, registered dietitian at Columbus Community Hospital, said Keyes, manager of Columbus Public Library.

“We have never had her do a cooking demonstration, so this will be a first for us,” Keyes said. “She’s actually going to cook, use the kitchen and show us foods to use that we would have in our own kitchen. So it won’t be strange stuff that we wouldn’t think about buying. It’s stuff we have right it our kitchen.”

Presentation attendees will view from the auditorium while work is completed in the kitchen area, which Keyes said is totally visible from the seating area.

“There’s a mirror that kind of angles on the ceiling so they can see what she is doing on the table up there while they are sitting in the audience,” she said. “They are right there on set.”

Keyes said she anticipates anywhere from 20-50 people in attendance. And it pays dividends being in attendance, she said, seeing as food samples are being distributed. Following the demonstration, a question and answer session is being held to give audience member a platform to bounce questions, ideas and thoughts off the master chef.

In previous years, the library’s hosted other food-related presentations, but never one revolving strictly around healthy eating. Due to numerous requests from the public, Keyes said she and her cohorts figured it was time to make this happen.

“We had so many requests that I wanted to try my best to fill that niche,” Keyes said. “We’ve done several cooking classes with pies, Kolaches, we’ve done tarts, cinnamon rolls – all sorts of good stuff. But, none of that is really healthy and there are a lot of people trying to eat healthier.

“There are concerns with gluten and all that stuff right now, and I think there are a lot of people who would be interested in coming to something like this.”

And when people are interested in something, there is the need for it to be presented in the correct way, a way that is informative while simultaneously engaging.

This is where Plummer comes into play.

“She just really knows her stuff, that is one thing I’ve always taken away from her classes,” Keyes said. “This lady knows what she’s talking about. She’s done it for years, and she also does it at the hospital, all the time. So she’s very familiar with this, she will be able to answer people’s questions and I just think she will be able to provide a great amount of information.”

Sam Pimper is news editor for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.