- Author: Hannah Lee
Thanksgiving is upon us, and the holiday season is in full swing! To prepare for the fun festivities ahead, Ayer and Storey Elementary Schools received Nutrition Corners with the theme, "Healthy Celebrations." Because children spend so much time at school, it's important to remind them of healthy choices, no matter the time of year. Ayer and Storey's Nutrition Corners encourage teachers to celebrate class milestones and holidays while promoting a culture of wellness. And of course, the Nutrition Corners wouldn't be complete without a reminder to use MyPlate to guide our meals.
- Author: Angelica Perez
- Editor: Emily Harris
Parents at Jefferson Elementary School were thrilled to begin the Plan, Shop, Save and Cook Series. They were excited to learn about ways the class could help them save money when it comes to healthy cooking at home and also learn ways to plan healthy meals. Many activities were included during the lessons, which allowed them to apply the skills they learned. One activity had the parents first create a meal plan and then plan their shopping lists. This activity allowed them to see the food groups they were eating plenty of, and which other food groups were being left out.
Jefferson parents planning their families' meals for the week and creating their shopping lists.
As the lessons continued throughout the weeks, many of the parents were eager to share their success in balancing all of the food groups on MyPlate to ensure balanced diets. Others shared their new found awareness of store flyer sale items, which included seasonal fruits and vegetables. Many parents also learned how low their whole grain consumption was, and began incorporating more whole grains into their meals. A couple of the parents even shared that they made our enchilada casserole at home and their families loved it, not knowing that they were eating whole grain brown rice!
Nutrition Educators, Araceli and Angelica, with some of the parents from the class who received their certificate of graduation from the Plan, Shop, Save and Cook Series.
Overall the class was very successful and we had 7 parents graduate the Plan, Shop, Save and Cook Series. Many parents appreciated learning nutrition information provided during the class by mentioning how useful it was for them to ensure that they make everyday, healthy eating a positive and simple, one step at a time, change. They know that these changes will make an extreme difference in their overall health and the health of their families.
Interested in bringing an adult nutrition education class to a school or community center near you? Contact our Adult Nutrition Program Supervisor, Javier Miramontes, at 241-7531 or email@example.com for more information.
- Author: Tacu Vang
- Editor: Emily Harris
On August 2nd, 2016, UC CalFresh was invited by the Housing Authority of Madera to participate in their National Night Out event. National Night Out is an annual event that is celebrated on the first Tuesday of August. Neighboring communities work together with law enforcement to create a culture of partnership for safer communities. UC CalFresh presented the workshop, "Milk is For Me," while the Housing Authority of Madera passed out books to children in the communities. National Night Out occurred at three different neighboring communities: the Malone Apartments, the Knox Apartments, and the Kennedy Apartments. UC CalFresh spent a total of 45 minutes at each site, which was a new, mobile approach that the team has not tried before.
Nutrition Educators, Angelica Perez and Maira Enriquez, work together to educate community residents.
All of the great books that were given out to the neighboring communities.
The UC CalFresh team working hard throughout the evening.
All in all, there was a great turn out for National Night Out in Madera, and the community loved the nutrition information and books they received. It was wonderful to see the residents partner with local law enforcement on a hot day to promote this event. The UC CalFresh team met many great people and hopes to be apart of this event next year.
- Author: Javier Miramontes
- Editor: Emily Harris
When I eat healthy I limit the amount of fat, sodium and sugar in my diet. In order to avoid having my food taste bland, I use vegetables and fruits to add flavor. There are so many fruits and vegetables we can use to make our food taste delicious and healthy.
One of my favorite things to make is salsa. I've been eating salsa since I was a kid and I'm lucky that my mom makes the best salsa. Check out my salsa recipe and suggestions below:
What will I need to make salsa?
Ingredients: Tomatoes, peppers, water and salt.
Kitchen supplies: A blender or a molcajete (mortar and pestle).
Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamin C.
How can I make my salsa spicy?
Thai peppers are very spicy and packed with flavor, so if you want some spicy salsa add a small handful.
Top row : Serrano Chili Pepper, Jalapenos. Bottom row: Thai Peppers, Dried Abrol Peppers.
How can I make a mild salsa?
Jalapeños tend to be the least spicy. Experiment by adding a few when you make your salsa. Once you build a tolerance, add more peppers.
What if my salsa is too spicy?
Add another tomato or water to reduce spiciness.
How can I make green/red salsa?
If you want to make your salsa red, use tomatoes and dried Chile de Abrol.
If you want to make your salsa green, use tomatillos (they look like small green tomatoes) and green peppers.
You can use tomatoes to make green salsa: just reduce the number of tomatoes and increase the number of green peppers.
Do you have a recipe I can try?
Yes! Here is a quick and easy recipe that I made in less than 8 minutes:
Ingredients:3 tomatoes, 6 grilled jalapeños, water and garlic salt.
I typically grill the tomatoes and jalapeños and add warm water when I make salsa.
Note: If you blend the tomatoes and jalapeños raw it will taste different. If you decide not to grill them, just heat up the finished salsa in a pan.
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- 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!