- Author: Sergio Perez
UC Calfresh joined Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) to promote a new vegetable to the Calwa Elementary students during the Fresh Grub event on February 28th. Fresh Grub links with school cafeterias to provide students with locally grown produce. At this event, the new vegetable that was introduced to children, teachers, and parents was jicama. The event was hosted by Fresno EOC, and UC Calfresh was there to support in providing direct education and facilitating a jicama taste test with the students. Others that played a big part in developing the event include Fresno State Community and Economic Development, Fresno Unified School District, and Fresno County Farm Bureau. ABC30 News was also present to film the event.
Calwa's UC Calfresh Nutrition Program Educator, Sergio, is ready to present educational information on jicama.
UC Calfresh Nutrition Program Educator, Mishelle, shows a picture on how jicama originally looks like before being cut.
Tasting 1: Plain Jicama
Tasting 2: Jicama with Lemon
The grade levels that participated in the jicama taste testing were 3rd, 5th, and 6th grade students. There were two types of tastings the students were exposed to. The first tasting was jicama by itself, and the second was jicama with lemon. The UC Calfresh team recorded the student's response of ever trying jicama, if they tried it at the time, were they willing to eat it again, and if they were willing to ask for it at home. Afterwards, ABC30 News asked the students' feedback and opinion on the tasting. At the end of the students taste test, we had teachers and parents taste both tastings and give us their response on whether they would serve the plain jicama or jicama with lemon at home.
To record students' responses accurately and prevent students from influencing one another, UC Calfresh educators would have them have their heads down, and show a thumb up for ‘yes.'
Students were excited to try new foods. For those who have tried it, they were surprised at seeing other ways jicama can be eaten. Different ways jicama was represented included eating it in a form of French fries, salad, or a taco shell.
Parents and staff from Calwa Elementary tasting the jicama with their children.
Group photo with the staff members of Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, Fresno Unified School District, and UC Calfresh.
The Fresh Grub was a successful event. There were about 200 students who participated, as well as parents and teachers who did the jicama taste test at the end. Fresno's EOC and UC Calfresh did a great job coordinating the event. UC Calfresh will continue to push healthy eating to the students in the cafeteria, as this can help make healthier decisions and explore different foods.
- Author: Emily Harris
On Saint Patrick's Day this year our UC CalFresh team was at the Fresno Fairgrounds talking to third graders throughout Fresno County about healthy eating at Farm and Nutrition Day. The Farm Bureau organizes this event every year to expose children to the agricultural industry and the benefits of healthy eating. UC CalFresh now has an established tradition to put on a nutrition play at Farm and Nutrition Day entitled, "Be Strong with 'Anytime' Foods," to show students the difference between '"anytime" foods, like strawberries and carrots, and "sometimes" foods, like candy and cookies.
At the beginning of the play, Sometimes Sally and Anytime Andy (Nutrition Educators, Hannah and Chris) meet on the first day of school.
Anytime Andy shows the audience the strong muscles eating anytime foods have given him.
Anytime Andy encourages Sometimes Sally to choose a carrot, but she hasn't been convinced to eat anytime foods yet.
With the help of the audience, the Strong-O-Meter gives Anytime Andy the strength he needs to knock out the candy bar Sometimes Sally brought in her lunch.
When Anytime Andy wins the race at the end of the play, Sometimes Sally finally learns that eating healthy will make her stronger and give her more energy.
Before the show ended, our team showed the students how they like to exercise. Check it out on our Facebook page.
Behind the Scenes:
Nutrition Program Supervisor, Brittanny, preps the cast one final time.
Staff greets the audience and sets up for another show.
After five showings of the play, our team gathers together to celebrate all of our hard work. We can't wait for next year!
Interested in past Farm and Nutrition Days? Check out the last few years below:
- Author: Emily Harris
On Friday, March 18th, 2016, third graders throughout Fresno County made their way to Farm and Nutrition Day at the Fresno Fairgrounds. According to the Farm Bureau, Farm and Nutrition Day, “allows students to participate in activities that showcase both the agricultural industry, as well as focus on the benefits of making healthy eating choices.”
In order to encourage students to choose “anytime” foods, like the abundant produce available here in California, the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program put on a nutrition play titled, “Be Strong with ‘Anytime' Foods.”
In the play, Sometimes Sam (played by Kristi Sharp) brought “sometimes” foods high in fat and sugar to eat for lunch at school, but thanks to the help of Anytime Anne, (played by Consuelo Cid) she learned that “anytime” foods are full of vitamins and minerals that make us feel good.
Anytime Anne crosses the finish line in first place, proving to Sometimes Sam that "anytime" foods have given her strength and energy.
By the end of the play, Sometimes Sam learned how to make healthy food choices, and so did the 3rd graders! By using MyPlate as a healthy eating guide, the students are now better equipped to make food choices that are great for their bodies.
Want to experience more of Farm and Nutrition Day?
Check out our Facebook page for even more
- Author: Javier Miramontes
- Editor: Emily Harris
Third graders from around Fresno County are invited to the Fresno fairgrounds for Farm and Nutrition Day in April of each year to learn about the local agriculture community. They get to learn about topics including how cows are milked, how a tractor operates and what foods are grown in Fresno County.
At Farm and Nutrition Day, the UC CalFresh team put on a nutrition play incorporating the concepts of “Sometimes” foods and “Anytime” foods. What are “Sometimes” and “Anytime” Foods?
“Anytime” foods are the healthy foods we find on MyPlate such as carrots, string cheese, whole grain crackers, and strawberries.
“Sometimes” foods are the foods we want to limit in our diets because they contain too much fat, sodium or sugar. Some examples include soda, candy and chips.
In our play, the character Anytime Andy loves eating healthy foods and playing with his friends. His friend Sometimes Sal likes to bring cookies, candy, and chips for lunch but never has energy to play during recess. Throughout the play Anytime Andy helps to teach Sometimes Sal that instead of eating “sometimes” foods he should bring more “anytime” foods to give him energy throughout the day.
By the end of the play students learn the difference between “Anytime” and “Sometimes” foods and the importance of making healthy choices.
- Author: Nathaly Juarez
- Author: Shelby MacNab
In an interview with Ryan Jacobsen, Executive Director of the Fresno County Farm Bureau, Dr. Shannon Mueller, University of California Cooperative Extension County Director, shared the role of Extension in the community.
Highlighting the local impact of UC Farm Advisors, Mueller recognizes programming and services they provide as a "bridge between the information that is developed on campus" and the needs of local growers.
Mueller also highlights the importance of Nutrition Education programming in Fresno County, particularly for school children and their families.
"We have really one of the premier nutrition programs in Cooperative Extension, here in Fresno County," she explains, “they conduct trainings in the school. They go out and visit classrooms and talk about good nutrition, physical activity, and health issues.”
Thanks for sharing our work Valley's Gold!
View the show in its entirety here:
For more information on the agricultural education programs featured, please visit the sites below: