Cooking class to be held in Colony

Donna Shanklin

COLONY – Donna Shanklin, a regional extension agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Program, will be leading the Rite Bite Cooking School, focused on nutrition, diet and health at the Colony Educational Complex beginning in August.

The six-session class, which will be every Wednesday from 2-3 p.m. starting on Aug. 17, will focus on topics such as: sweeteners, portion control, reading nutrition labels, choosing the right fat, management of diabetes through meal planning, carbohydrates & fiber and seven ways to control your blood pressure.          

“Periodically we offer classes like this,” said Shanklin. “We chose to hold the event in Colony because there was already built-in interest. We held a Christmas ornament-making class there last year. We also recently held a diabetes informational class, so this is kind of a continuation of that.”

The class, which is free to attend, will be very hands-on.          

“If there are 20 people then there will be enough for a tasting,” Shanklin said. “But if there are only like three or four people there then there might be enough for a whole meal.”         

Shanklin said that classes like these are important for anyone, but especially for people raised in the South.         

“You know, we learn all these recipes from our mothers who use old recipes with high fat and sugar levels and lots of butter. These classes are not just a ‘recipe sharing’ thing. It is educational and provides information to alternative recipes. We know now that we can have food that tastes great without having such high sugar levels.”          

The classes are free, and participants need not attend all six, but Shanklin says that the more you attend, the more you learn.          

“You do not have to come to all the sessions, but the more you come to, the more it all ties together and the more you’ll get out of it,” she said. “Plus, everyone who registers gets a free gift.”          

Shanklin and her office are based in Cullman County, and the program is funded by Auburn University and Alabama A&M University, as it is an outreach arm of the two schools.          

“You do not have to bring anything but yourselves and a positive attitude,” Shanklin said.         

If you want to attend the class, call Shanklin at 256-200-2997, email her at, or simply show up to the class and register the day of the session.        

If you are interested in having a program of classes in your area centered around any health and cooking educational topic, reach out to Shanklin with the contact information above.        

“These classes can be offered anywhere,” Shanklin said. “If you are in Crane Hill and wanted a class, we could make it happen.”


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