- Author: Emily Harris
On December 3rd I spoke to Professor Cerda's Child Nutrition class at Fresno City College. She asked me to answer the question, “How is UC CalFresh fighting childhood obesity?” What a loaded question! In order to answer this question, I decided to give her class an overview of both our adult and youth programs, with an emphasis on our direct nutrition education with students in the classroom. I didn't forget to mention, however, our nutrition class series we hold for adults in the community and parents of our students. Children eat what their parents give them, so half the battle really is educating parents on how best to feed their children. In the classroom, we provide lessons for the students that go over MyPlate and then highlight a certain food group or physical activity. The students in the Child Nutrition class experienced our “Rethink Your Drink” lesson first hand, which furthered their understanding of what we do. Hot topics during my presentation included teachers' role and influence in their students' health education and students' responses to our “Tasting Time” foods we provide every other month. At the end of my presentation, I asked this class two questions: “What does it mean to be healthy? How do we fight childhood obesity? “I asked some of my older elementary students this year what it means to be healthy, so I was curious what college students would have to say. I also wanted to know if they believed that what we are doing is a way to fight childhood obesity, or if there is a key idea or concept that they believe we are missing. Check out their responses below:
Now it's your turn! Leave yours answers to these two questions in a comment below.
- Author: Consuelo Cid
Healthy snacks and beverages are an integral part of a child's diet because they can help our children consume the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed for optimal growth.
Children have smaller stomachs than adults, which means that they may get hungry in between meals. Therefore, it is important that they learn how to distinguish between treats and healthy snacks.
To assist me in this endeavor with my Vang Pao Elementary School students, I introduced James and Ethan, two characters in the book, Looking After Me: Eating Well, by Liz Gogerly and Mike Gordon. In the story the students learned that eating too many treats can make us sick, but they also learned, along with James, that eating well is the secret to staying fit and healthy.
Here is what my 2nd grade Vang Pao Elementary students had to say about eating well...
Shout out to Maria Mendez's second grade class for their great responses!
- Author: Consuelo Cid
Building and forging healthy habits can seem daunting or intimidating, at first.
Cost and time are common concerns and barriers towards incorporating healthy snacks and meals into your life; however, with just a few simple strategies like planning meals ahead of time, cooking large one-pot meals, and buying and shopping for foods that are currently on sale, you can help stretch food dollars and save time when it counts!
The UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program strives to empower parents, students, and the community at large to make healthy food choices while simultaneously staying active. We empower our participants by arming them with the skills, knowledge, and self-efficacy necessary to be informed consumers and health advocates for themselves and their families.
The UC CalFresh Nutrition Education team hosted a 4-week Plan, Shop, Save, and Cook series where Vang Pao Elementary parents gained skills in shopping, saving, and preparing meals while staying within their food budget.
Participants brainstorm family meals!
Give it up for our Vang Pao Elementary parents who successfully completed the Plan, Shop, Save, and Cook series.
Our participants are eager to share what they learned and want to encourage you to make healthy food changes for yourself. Join us and post your #healthyselfie to encourage others in your community to make healthy food choices. Together we can make for a healthier California!
Need inspiration? Here are our Vang Pao parents' #healthyselfies.
- Author: DeAnna Molinar
The UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program uses different visuals to teach kids good food habits and decision-making skills. The plastic MyPlate is one of many tools that will be used this year to build and maintain healthy families and communities.
If you are looking for a fun and interactive way to enhance your next nutrition education lesson, try including items like the ones you see below!
Ask your educator how you can use these tools in your next nutrition lesson.
- Author: DeAnna Molinar
- Contributor: Nancy R. Zumkeller
- Editor: Shelby MacNab
The Reedley Senior Center is helping seniors put knowledge into practice!
After participating in the UC CalFresh Eat Smart, Live Strong nutrition education series, all participants received the foods they needed to cook healthy meals. Senior Center Coordinator, Carol Martens, partnered with the Reedley Senior Commission, Inc. to provide the foods.
When making the Summer Bounty Salad, participants were given fresh bananas. Lasagna Casserole? No problem! Sauce, pasta and vegetables were distributed to seniors to make their own healthy version at home.
“Living alone, the classes have taught me to plan my shopping and menu planning. I now eat much healthier and save money.” --Shirley
“Eat healthy-live a good life.” --Marie