Smart Choices from the Start

IMG_7014As a woman entered the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) clinic at Wilmington’s Northeast State Service Center, she was greeted with the smells of a stovetop fritatta.

“It smells so good in here,” she remarked.

She checked in with the clinic’s receptionist and took a seat in the waiting room with a few other clinic visitors.

It was their lucky day, as Amanda Good, our WIC Food Demonstration Specialist, was visiting with her portable kitchen. As part of our new Smart Choices from the Start program, Amanda visits several clinics each week showing new ways to prepare dishes using foods that WIC participants can purchase using their food voucher.

Three little girls gathered around Amanda’s portable kitchen as she explained carefully each step neIMG_7002cessary in order to mIMG_7003ake a perfect stovetop fritatta. She opened a bag of fresh spinach and added it to her skillet. As the spinach cooked, Amanda cracked nine eggs and slightly beat them with a fork; she diced a small onion and one tomato. She took a few pieces of thick deli ham and cut it into two-inch slices.

A mirror is attached to the top of the portable kitchen to ensure that participants can see what’s happening – right from the comfort of their seats!

As she worked to get all of the ingredients prepped, her younger audience members talked back and forth.

“I love salad,” said one. “I wear glasses,” said another. “I watch people cook, so I can cook when I’m older.” IMG_7007

After everything was chopped, Amanda added the rest of the ingredients to the eggs, including a cup of grated cheddar cheese, and poured the mixture over the cooked spinach.

IMG_7011More guests walked into the clinic. As they took a seat, Amanda encouraged them to fill out a quick survey; as a token of her appreciation, they would each receive a recipe book, apron and oven mitt. (The survey asks questions about at-home meal preparation frequency, foods used with the WIC voucher, food frequence (how many times a month certain foods are eaten) and more.)

Ten minutes later the stovetop frittata was ready! Amanda cut it up into sample sizes and distributed to the group to try.

It was unanimous – the fritatta was a winner!

“Mmm, it’s good, mommy,” said one of the little girls.  IMG_7016

Amanda explained some of the health benefits of the dish, especially the spinach. Did you know that spinach is a great source of folic acid for pregnant moms? And the addition of deli meat is not harmful to pregnant women if the meat is cooked. Uncooked deli meat is not good for pregnant women due to listeria concerns.

The ladies visiting the WIC clinic were thankful for Amanda’s knowledge and said they planned to make the fritatta at home.

It was time for the little girls to leave with their mom, and as they left, they gave Amanda a “thumbs up!”

To date Amanda has hosted 42 statewide demonstrations with a total of 272 participants! Response from participants has been positive for the five recipes demonstrated to date! Participants have enjoyed peanut butter and banana french toast, Minnesota Northwoods white chili, tuna and black bean quesadillas, stovetop fritatta and sweet potato and black bean chili! Next month’s recipe is black bean and egg burritos!

To learn more about Smart Choices from the Start, please visit click here!

Want to make the stovetop frittata at home? Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
Fresh baby spinach (10 oz. bag)
9 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. deli ham, cut into 2-inch slices
1 small onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced

Directions:
1. Cook the spinach and 1 tablespoon of water in a large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring occassionally.
2. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over spinach. Don’t stir.
3. Cover and cook 10 minutes until the center is set.

Total cost per serving using WIC voucher for ingredients: $0.36; total cost per seriving of purchased food: $3.01

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