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New Year, New You: Finding help in the kitchen

As we start the new year, many are looking at improving their lives. In the first installment of New Year, New You, we look at improving eating.

For 13-year Pampered Chef director Jaime Bartell, she likes to focus on kitchen solutions. She asks her customers what is the hardest thing for them to overcome. Some are struggling with deciding what to make, what is healthy and will the kids eat it.

At her shows, Bartell likes to focus on fast and healthy. She teaches show-goers how to make freezer options, salad in a jar and 15-minute meals.

For her freezer meal workshops, she likes to focus on Midwestern ingredients and simple ingredients. She likes to make a twice-baked potato and a chicken tater tot casserole done in Pampered Chef’s Rockcrok line, that’s similar to a Crockpot.

Oftentimes Bartell says slow cooker meals can get pretty exotic and kids will refuse to eat them.

“I focus on bringing kids into the kitchen because they are more likely to eat what they pick out and what they cook. Once you get your kids in the kitchen making the decisions of what’s for supper, they’re going to eat it and they’re going to be proud of it,” Bartell said. “We have research that shows if children are in the kitchen and cooking they will cook for the rest of their life. They will be less apt to go through the drive-thru when they get to college and get out on their own.”

Keeping with quick, Bartell said she recommends the Make and Take Lunch Pack. She likes to use the jar to make salads to go and the snack jar to make overnight oats for a quick snack in the morning.

For supper, Bartell suggests 15-minute meals. One meal consists of ground beef and making two meals from it. She makes six-minute nachos and taco hot dish. With leftover taco meat, she makes walking tacos.

She also teaches how to make taco seasoning without fillers and anti-caking agents. She also incorporates a lot of rice into her recipes to help make them go further and help mothers who are on WIC.

“A lot of times if they are one income they can get the rice on WIC. I don’t want them to put it in their cupboards or not buy it because they don’t know how to cook with it,” she said.

Another quick meal she makes uses a rotisserie chicken that she quarters and uses it for chicken fried rice, chicken salad and chicken pot pies that they can freeze and pull out to bake when needed.

Getting going in the kitchen in 2018, Bartell encourages starting small and getting the whole family involved.

“It has to be quick meals they’re going to eat. Get everyone involved,” she said.

Bartell grew up on a dairy farm south of Parker. She and her husband, Mike, and their two children moved to Tea in June. Read more from Bartell in her weekly columns coming soon to the Tea Weekly.

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