- Author: Shawna Rogers
As this school year winds down, we reflect on some of the highlights over the past months. In this feature, Shawna Rogers shares the excitement of a special visitor at Yokomi.
Thanks to the Dairy Council's Mobile Dairy Program, Buttercup, a jersey dairy cow, made her debut at Yokomi as the students gazed on with excitement. With the help of her handler she showed the students the “day in the life of a dairy cow.” This included sharing what she likes to eat to talking about how she gets milked daily. Buttercup's visit allowed the students to see where their milk comes from.
The students were told that if they were on their best behavior there would be a surprise at the end of the presentation. Towards the end of the presentation the handler went to the back of the trailer to retrieve the surprise… a calf, just weeks old! The calf stubbornly came out of the trailer to the sound of awes from the students. Students then had the opportunity to pet Buttercup and the calf before returning to class.
The UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program and the Dairy Council of California partner together to bring the students of Fresno County a memorable experience! Thanks for bringing Buttercup to visit!
Did you know an eggplant and a chili pepper are fruits? First grade students at Huron Elementary know!
This week, all first grade students at Huron Elementary participated in an interactive plant part lesson where students had the opportunity to see, touch, and smell various plant parts.
Some vegetables were new and unfamiliar, like the Daikon. While others, like the carrot, were our much-loved vegetable. Although, students did not see just any carrots- they saw purple and yellow carrots!
Students interest is sparked and they are eager to learn more about the vegetables they observe. Pictured above are first grade teachers Lisa Rodriguez (far left) and Kaylee Cardosa (right).
Nutrition Educator Emily Harris teaches students about roots, stems, and flowers.
Students learned about phytochemicals at the beginning of the year and about the importance of eating a variety, all the colors of the rainbow, of fruits and vegetables. This lesson helped reinforce this concept and showcased all plant parts: root, stem, leaves, flower, fruit, and seeds.
Students also sang along with Ms. Harris:
“Roots, stems, leaves, flower, fruit, and seeds. That's six parts, six parts, six plant parts that plants and people need.”
It has been such a pleasure teaching and encouraging students to live healthier and happier lives!
Good job Huron Elementary and keep up the great work!
- Author: Brittanny N. Zweigle
At Balderas Elementary Mr. McEndree's 6th grade class was charged with the task of taking notes during our Nutrition Fact Label lessoN. Students were asked to summarize what they learned from the lesson. Each student was given a nutrition fact label to review with Mrs. Z (that's me). They looked like this:
We then reviewed 5 points of the label - calories, total fat, fiber, protein and vitamins and minerals. We spent most of our time discussing calories, specifically: what are they? why do we care? and what do they do for us.
The overall goal was helping this 6th grade class to understand the importance of reading the label of what they eat.
I think they learned a lot! Thank you Mr. McEndree for getting your class engaged in the Nutrition Facts lesson!
- Author: Emily Harris
UC CalFresh Nutrition Educator, Emily Harris, reflects on the experience of teaching her first adult nutrition education series.
Making a difference in the life of community members is something we aspire to here at UC CalFresh. I had the privilege of teaching my first class of adults, and I'll admit, I was nervous. After teaching kids who are younger than me, shorter than me, and expected to listen to me by their respective teachers, I had no idea what to expect.
“I buy more [healthy] dairy for my son, ‘non-fat milk.' I learned how to check how much sugar is really in drinks. [I] also plan on keeping up on [healthy] foods and drinks.”-Adult program participant
Being a 20-someting with no kids, I didn't know if my adult participants would take what I had to say seriously. I don't have to budget for three hungry children with particular food sensitivities/preferences; who am I to tell them how to do this?
Despite these thoughts coursing through my mind, I decided to be confident and share the information I had to offer with the life experiences (however limited they are) that I do have. I was astounded by the positive responses that I had! I felt that my participants appreciated my honest and sometimes comical anecdotes about my own struggles with eating healthy and trying to stick to a budget.
“It was an informative class. [I'm] going to look at nutrition facts now that I have a better understanding. [I] would love to learn in more detail how eating unhealthy affects us.”–Adult program participant
What I decided to emphasize when I teach is that changes will not happen all at one time in every aspect of a participant's life. One of my participants was an avid soda drinker, consuming at least three cans a day. I did not tell this participant that he should quit drinking soda completely; I know within a week or two he would be back to drinking it and probably at a higher volume. My suggestion to any situation like this one is to begin with a small change. Maybe for this participant the best thing to do would be to only drink two sodas a day this week.
I know some adamant health fanatics are probably astounded by my suggestion. Is she really encouraging a participant to drink high amounts of soda? Not at all! What I've seen and learned in my classes is that people have habits that they need to break, and the only effective way to break them is at a gradual pace. What I desire for my participants is that they develop healthy habits they can pass on to their children, and I'm thankful I was able to see that begin to happen in their lives.
Interested in more success stories from past participants? Find them here!
- Author: Brittanny N. Zweigle
If you were given pictures of foods, would you be able to put them in the correct category? Well the 1st grade students from Mrs. Holland's class at Balderas Elementary can! They were split up into 5 groups and given the same pictures to put on a poster, having to categorize their foods into the appropriate food group. Let's take a look at their great work!
Great work Mrs. Holland's class! We can't wait to see more of what you have learned.