Tweens (10-12)







Eating Healthy for the Holidays



It’s hard to eat healthy with piles of stuffing and mashed potatoes calling your name or the scent of oven-fresh pies wafting through the air. The Benbrook Public Library welcomed a nutritionist who demonstrated ways to cook holiday favorites without piling on extra calories.

Advanced Planning

This program was easier than others I have done in the past because nutritionist Deanna Keane walked into the library and introduced herself to me. I prefer to have fitness and nutrition programs in January, but Deanna wanted to start earlier. For the program, she wanted to provide examples to snack on, so we discussed what supplies she would need to bring and the limitations of the room and kitchen. She also brought a few handouts for the cooking programs so the library could make copies of them. (Download a recipe handout under Attachments at right.)


We decided on the date of the program in September, and I did not begin advertising until November, the month of the event. I put fliers in the lobby, created a slideshow for our digital signage, wrote an article for our electronic newsletter and used social media closer to the day of the event.


This event was completely free! The nutritionist brought her own supplies, and we only furnished the copies from the copy machine. We didn't even need to provide refreshments!

Day-of-event Activity

The preparation for the event was simple. We set up the room in a U-shape and opened the window that the kitchen shares. We also put a table under the window, so the nutritionist could display the goodies she brought.

Program Execution

The only hesitation I had about this particular program is that I had not seen Deanna speak publicly before. So there was a small leap of faith that always comes with free programming. In past cooking programs, this has worked really well, and the presenters would even hand out recipe cards for the participants.


This is an easy program to implement; you can make it as hard or as easy as desired. We have an annual all-day holiday event in December, so for us, simple is best during the holidays. There are other components you could add to the event, such as a cooking competition or a decorating contest with some fun ingredients. There could also be a lot of creativity when it comes to the wordplay of the program's title and how you describe it. 

Supporting Materials