Culinary Medicine

Students in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway participate in monthly skills sessions led by registered dietitians, focusing on basic culinary techniques integrated with nutrition concepts. During the labs, participants prepare foods that demonstrate specialized topics and sampling the finished products. Topics include:

Pilot Year

  • Introduction to Culinary Medicine: Healthy Dietary Patterns
  • Cardiovascular Disease: Nuts and Seafood

Year 1 & 2

  • Foundations of Diabetes Prevention and Management
  • Healthy Dietary Patterns: Dietary Fiber and Glucose Control
  • Introduction to the Nutrition Focused Physical Exam
  • Performing a Nutrition Focused Physical Exam
  • Protein: Anabolism, Immunity, Healing and Recovery
  • Healthy Dietary Patterns: Plant-Based Diets
  • Cardiovascular Health: Hypertension and Sodium
  • Cardiovascular Health: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Guided Grocery Store Tour, Food Deserts and Introduction to Food Assistance
  • Lifecycle Nutrition: Pregnancy and Lactation
  • Lifecycle Nutrition: Infancy through Early Childhood
  • Lifecycle Nutrition: Fueling Adolescence
  • Lifecycle Nutrition: The Adult Years and Successful Aging
  • Obesity, Weight Management and Fad Diets
  • Recipe Hacks: Techniques to Promote Adherence to Nutritional Advice
  • Integrative and Functional Nutrition: Promoting Gastrointestinal Health
  • Adverse Food Reactions:  Understanding Common Food Allergies and Intolerances
  • Adverse Food Reactions:  Understanding Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance

Culinary Labs: Just What the Doctor Ordered, Food as Medicine

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn nutrition strategies and simple culinary skills to promote easy, quick and affordable healthy cooking styles for self, future patients and the community
  • Identify healthy cooking approaches that are also culturally appropriate and budget-friendly for cost conscious individuals and families
  • Identify the evidence-based information to support identification of the healthiest overall dietary patterns, including but not limited to, healthiest macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins)
  • Understand how to plan menus, including portion size and life cycle concerns
  • Understand the concept of dietary patterns and not individual nutrients in relation to risk for chronic disease and optimal health
  • Clarify current nutrition controversies versus core, agreed-upon concepts
  • Recognize the importance of acting as a team leader or group member as necessary to facilitate optimal learning experiences


  • Each culinary lab will begin with a brief introduction to identify the underlying nutrition concepts of the class
  • Each culinary lab will identify core culinary skills incorporated into the lab’s lesson plans
  • The lab's intent is not to just provide "recipes," but lifelong culinary skills and core nutrition concepts
  • Students will participate in designated small groups with each group focusing on preparation of specific foods
  • Time will be allowed to taste all food preparations and discuss the lab’s underlying nutrition concepts and practiced culinary skills

Additional Resources

  • Current research
  • Informational and instructional videos
  • Handouts
  • Organizations that represent food and agriculture