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Healthy eating can be tasty and affordable

Beth Adams/WXXI News

Foodlink has kicked off a month of events centered on healthy eating.

The regional food hub is recognizing National Nutrition Month through a series of classes, workshops and demonstrations.

This morning, chefs from Foodlink and Wegmans participated in a cook-off, using ingredients from the Curbside Market to create healthy meals.

Don Harter, the regional executive chef for Wegmans, says the more you eat more nutritious food, the more you develop a taste for it.

"Like anything, the first time you have something, it triggers that intrigue in your mind about what you think it tastes like, but then the more you have it, I think you start to have those cravings even for healthy food." 

Both Harter and Casey Holenbeck, a chef at Foodlink, recommend experimenting with different ways to prepare food to make it more appealing, even to picky kids.  That can include presenting food in a different way than they’re used to eating it. For example, pureeing vegetables or making a soup. 

"Flavor-wise I always encourage fresh herbs,” said Holenbeck. “Fresh herbs always make everything taste better."

An emphasis on good nutrition is a priority for Foodlink year round, not just in March. Communications Manager Mark Dwyer said they care deeply about it.

"We have just about ten educators on our staff that are really out in the community every single day,” he said, “teaching about the benefits of nutrition, of eating healthy, of making low-cost, nutritious, delicious recipes, and teaching people how to stretch their food dollar at home, and especially at the grocery store."

Next Friday, Foodlink will take shoppers on an interactive grocery store tour, giving them tips on how to shop for healthy foods on a limited budget. 

That event is on March 8 at the Tops at 450 West Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A night of nutrition-themed trivia is planned for March 20 at Three Heads Brewing, and Foodlink educators will be at the Public Market on March 21 and 28 giving free demonstrations in the Winter B Shed at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.