School is back in session and students across the nation are busy in the classroom and cafeteria learning and eating. But what happens to students in the summer months when school is out? Research suggests a summer learning achievement gap occurs between children from low income communities and their higher income peers when school is out. Even more, summer has been called “the hungriest time of the year” for low-income children who rely on school meals to get enough food during the school year.
In response to the summer hunger problem, the USDA created the Summer...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
For low-income Californians who can't afford to purchase fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables, the suggestion to simply grow their own is well-intentioned, but overly simplistic advice.
UC Cooperative Extension in Riverside County is bringing together students, agencies, nutrition educators and gardening experts to work alongside families to grow produce in garden plots at a community facility.
“Many people don't know how to get started gardening,” said Chutima Ganthavorn, the nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor for UCCE and manager of its local UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program. “Gardening takes space, water, resources like seeds and...
The contents of the refrigerators and cupboards of five Latino families after they participated in UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) nutrition training was heartening.
Most kitchens were stocked with ample fruit and vegetables, legumes and whole wheat bread. Researchers inventoried the food in the five homes before and after the training, and were able to document significant improvements attributable to UC ANR's signature nutrition education curriculum, Plan, Shop, Save & Cook.
“The classes helped families make small changes...
For the rest of the school year, families can get farm-fresh fruit and vegetables at Vang Pao Elementary School in southeast Fresno on Thursdays when they pick up children or stop by after school. The site hosts a weekly farm market until June 4 plus free educational resources from a UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) partner.
“This is a perfect example of what can happen when multiple levels of government and community organizations work together,” said Luis Chavez, a member of the Fresno County School Board. “This is a model that we hope to expand across the city.”
UC CalFresh, part of UC ANR Cooperative Extension, provides regular produce sampling and...
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
You can lead a child to fresh fruits and vegetables, but how do you entice them to eat healthful foods when you aren't watching?
“Simply offering healthy options is not enough to motivate children to make healthy choices,” said Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Nutrition at UC Davis.
“Moreover, imposing restrictions rather than providing children with options to make healthy choices can have long-term negative effects,” said Rachel Scherr, assistant project scientist, also in the UC Davis Department of Nutrition.
In 2012, more than one-third of children in the U.S. were overweight or obese,...