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Lakenheath Airmen learn to cook healthier

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Scott Wakefield
  • Detachment 4, Air Force News Agency
Members of the RAF Lakenheath Health and Wellness Center spice up their Body Composition Improvement Program by providing a healthy cooking class here.

Staff Sgt. Natalie Gatewood, a nutrition counselor here, noticed there was something lacking to the required sessions Airmen were required to participate in.

Most of them either didn't know how to cook, used too many processed foods, or just didn't know how to make healthy choices. So, when the HAWC underwent renovations and a kitchen was provided, Sergeant Gatewood took the logical step as their "eating mentor" and started the cooking class.

The class is held for up to 15 participants, and required for Airmen in the Body Composition Improvement Program. When it doesn't fill up with Airmen on BCIP, Sergeant Gatewood opens it up to family members and civilian workers. The typical class starts out with simple ingredients costing about $10 for a small group or family.

"It's not just about not knowing how to cook," Sergeant Gatewood said. "I try to make my class (cook with) five ingredients or less for the most part. It's really quick, and I cook everything right in front of (them), so (they) know they can cook quick, healthy food."

The food normally takes less than a half hour to make, and Sergeant Gatewood provides lots of healthy tips throughout the class.

The food was great, said Ana Pinto, a class participant. "I'm going to make it tomorrow night for my family."