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Sign up for cooking classes

Culinary medicine cooking classes

Learn how to support your health and wellness through healthy cooking.

What is culinary medicine?

Whether you want to keep your heart healthy, need help managing your blood sugars or are seeking lasting energy for your busy day, a healthy and balanced meal is key. But how do you get started with healthy cooking if you’re not familiar with it?

That’s where our culinary medicine program comes in. Hands-on culinary medicine classes, held in our teaching kitchen, combine the art and skill of cooking with the science of nutrition. 

It's an evidence-based approach to health that incorporates food and cooking with nutrition education. Through these cooking classes, you’ll learn how to make small and sustainable dietary changes to support your health by learning:

  • The role of food in treating and preventing disease
  • Cooking skills while making new, delicious recipes
  • The principles of the Mediterranean diet

What to expect in culinary medicine cooking classes

During the cooking portion of the class, you’ll get help and feedback on techniques. Your instructor will also demonstrate new skills. After the food is prepared, you’ll enjoy it with your classmates during a guided discussion on the food and lesson.

Free of charge and open to everyone, the series of four clinical nutrition cooking classes are led by a culinary-trained registered dietitian. They're typically held on consecutive weeks or months. And you don’t need any cooking experience or knowledge to attend. 

The first class introduces you to the Mediterranean diet and cooking basics. The remaining three each focus on one of a typical day’s meals as well as a healthy eating habit.

A sample class structure might look like this:

  • Class 1: Introductory class. Overview of cooking basics, kitchen safety and recipe reading. Introduction to the Mediterranean diet.
  • Class 2: Quick and easy breakfasts and reading food labels.
  • Class 3: Healthy lunches, protein, vegetables and portion sizes.
  • Class 4: Delectable dinners, good shopping habits and legumes.

You’ll be given recipes and ingredients for dishes that correspond with the day's nutrition focus. Then we’ll break everyone into groups so you can work together to prepare the food.

You’re welcome to take home recipes, as well as any leftover food. All materials and equipment will be provided for you to use in class.

Sign up for cooking classes

See upcoming cooking classes through our culinary medicine program and sign up today.
And you can bring a friend or family member with you to join in on the learning!

Find classes

Frequently asked questions

Why the Mediterranean diet?

Proper nutrition can play a large part in preventing or helping you control many chronic diseases. The Mediterranean diet is one of the most evidence-based, sustainable and affordable diets. It boasts plenty of health benefits, particularly reducing the risk for (or managing) heart disease and diabetes and maintaining a healthy weight.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes including these on your plate daily:

  • Fruits and nuts
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Healthy fats (unsaturated)
  • Lean meats and seafood
  • Beans and legumes
Where are classes held?

All classes are held in our new teaching kitchen located in Geisinger Multispecialty Clinic Selinsgrove, located at 157 Roosevelt Ave.

Virtual classes are also available.

What's the difference between in-person and virtual classes?

In-person class participants attend the classes in the teaching kitchen in Selinsgrove while virtual class participants attend from the comfort of their home kitchens. The curriculum and recipe options are the same.

What can I expect from in-person classes?

When you register, you’ll receive emailed communications from asking you to confirm your attendance or cancel your registration. Before class, you'll need to complete a pre-program survey/waiver.

Class starts with an overview of the day's learning objectives and an introduction to the topics for discussion and learning materials. You’re given recipes and ingredients for dishes that correspond with the day's nutrition focus, and you’ll work with other students to prepare them. The instructor will offer help and feedback on techniques and demonstrate new skills. 

After the food is prepared, you can enjoy it with your classmates during a guided discussion on the food and lesson. You’ll be able to take home recipes, along with any leftover food.

What can I expect from virtual classes?

When you register, you’ll receive emailed communications from asking you to confirm your attendance or cancel your registration. If you confirm, you’ll receive another email with a meeting link, directions and recipes. Before class, you’ll need to complete a pre-program survey/waiver. You’ll select a recipe, then gather the required ingredients and equipment.

At the time of class, you’ll log in to the meeting via the Microsoft Teams link and turn your camera on. After class introductions, we’ll ask each participant to identify the recipe they chose. The instructor will then lead a nutrition lesson.

After the lesson portion, participants will prepare a recipe related to the theme together from the comfort of their home kitchens. The instructor will provide guidance as needed.

Do you have any other teaching kitchen locations?

No, our only teaching kitchen is in Selinsgrove. However, our virtual classes allow anyone to attend, regardless of location.

Who can attend?

All adults age 18+ are welcome to attend. You do not have to be a Geisinger patient or employee. Each person attending must register separately.

We also hold culinary medicine classes for kids periodically.

Do I need to be a Geisinger patient or employee to attend?

No, our classes are offered free of charge to everyone. While Geisinger employees and patients are welcome, anyone can join, including those from other states and countries. Keep in mind that all session times are in Eastern Time.

When are the classes? How do I sign up?

You can easily register for cooking classes through the Geisinger events page. Each person planning to attend must register separately. Registering for the class series means you plan to attend all four sessions.

What if I have food allergies or food intolerances?

Our virtual classes are fantastic if you have food allergies or intolerances, since you can make substitutions to your selected recipe. This way, you can enjoy the food without fear of cross-contamination.

Note that our in-person classes cannot guarantee substitutions, and cross-contamination may occur.

If I enjoy culinary medicine class, can I come back again?

Yes, we’d love to have you! We hold numerous classes throughout the year for adults, but the curriculum doesn’t change, so you would be repeating the same class. You can see a list of available cooking classes on the events page.

What if I can’t make these dates and times?

We hold a variety of classes throughout the year for adults. Classes are generally posted three months in advance, so check back regularly. A list of available cooking classes is posted on the events page.

Clinical nutrition at Geisinger

A healthy diet has positive impacts on your overall health. From creating custom nutrition plans to taking group cooking classes or managing a medical condition, our clinical dietitians and certified diabetes care and education specialists offer:

  • Focused care – Personalized education and support keep you moving toward your nutritional goals. Our registered dietitians will partner with you to create a treatment plan that meets your unique needs — whether you want to lose weight or prevent disease.
  • Teamwork – Lifestyle and behavioral education, support groups, nutritional counseling and medical care all help you succeed throughout your nutrition journey.
  • Evidence-based methods – This culinary medicine program was developed by Tulane University School of Medicine and is a program offered by medical schools and universities nationwide. The pillars of the program are built on research on the Mediterranean diet, which has been linked to an overall reduction in mortality.
Geisinger thanks the Degenstein Foundation for their generous gift that made the Teaching Kitchen possible for the health and education of the community.
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