Above: Elena Arndt, a registered dietitian with the 10th Mountain Division’s 10th Brigade Holistic Health and Fitness Team, demonstrates how to properly cut a chicken during the brigade’s barracks cooking class, Aug. 16, 2022, at the Chapel Yes Valley at Fort Drum. Right: Pfc. Kira Cornick, a human resources specialist assigned to the 10th Troop Support Battalion, 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade, measures brown sugar as part of a recipe during cooking class at the brigade barracks. The brigade’s unit ministry team and the fitness holistic health and nutrition team came together to design a class to help soldiers with culinary skills. (U.S. Army photos by Sgt. 1st Class Neysa Canfield, 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs Office)
Single soldiers learn to nourish their bodies, their minds
Sgt. First Class Neysa Canfield
10th Mountain Division Support Brigade Public Affairs Office
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Aug. 16, 2022) — While most single Soldiers receive their meals at dining facilities on post, whether due to obligations, time or transportation, some Soldiers find it easier and faster to order .
“During one of our exercises (command post exercises), I heard from a lot of our younger soldiers that they would order a lot from Uber Eats if they couldn’t get to the dining facility in time because they either didn’t know how to cooked or to prepare the meal,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Tanya Bindernagel, 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade chaplain.
Bindernagel and the rest of the brigade unit ministry team decided this was an issue they wanted to help solve.
“We have access to registered dietitians who are part of the brigade’s (Holistic Health and Fitness) program, so it just made sense to team up and create some cooking classes for these Soldiers,” she explained.
On August 16, the brigade’s unit ministry team and Elena Arndt, registered dietitian for the 10th Mountain Division H2F Brigade Support Team, hosted their second cooking class for all single Soldiers in the brigade.
During the class, Arndt taught the soldiers how to make teriyaki chicken noodle bowls.
“I knew I wanted to make something that contained simple ingredients, something that didn’t take a lot of time to make and something that didn’t have a long list of ingredients that they would have to buy and, of course, a dish that I I know. they could cook in their barracks with the equipment available,” Arndt said.
In addition to demonstrating how to prepare the meal, Arndt added that she used the class as an opportunity to examine the health and financial benefits of cooking instead of constantly ordering out.
“When it comes to ordering, the health benefits aren’t really there. I’d rather have them know what’s actually in their food and what they’re putting into their bodies,” she explained. “(The personal financial advisor) will also tell you that (the order) is a really big problem with soldiers living in barracks, and that’s where they’re spending a lot of their money.”
For Soldiers like Cpl. Joshua Johnson, a human resources specialist assigned to the 510th Human Resources Company, 10th Division Troop Battalion, 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade, this class allows him to build on the skills he already knows.
“I like to cook, but I know a lot of soldiers in the barracks with me might not know how to do it, and even though (the dining area) is accessible, sometimes it gets boring and you just want something different,” said Johnson.
Johnson added that having the brigade’s registered dietitian demonstrate how to cook the meal was something she enjoyed in the classroom.
“A lot of Soldiers are afraid to ask for help or guidance, so I think this class helped expose those Soldiers to the different experts that we have in our brigade,” Johnson said. “I also think having a registered dietitian teaching us helps Soldiers build a healthy relationship with food and learn about balance and the importance of healthy eating.”