- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Reporter Barbara Anderson reported that the UC ANR Cooperative Extension CalFresh program in Fresno County reaches 75 elementary schools and 1,000 classrooms. Madera County schools will be added in October.
UC CalFresh nutrition educators present research-based curriculum and food tastings in the classrooms. Because food habits begin during childhood, they hope that by steering children to fruits, vegetables and whole grains early on, the healthy food will become part of their lifelong dietary patterns.
UC CalFresh also reaches out to adults at job training programs, senior centers and schools, the story said. UC CalFresh educator Tacu Vang presented lessons at Jobs & Beyond, teaching participants how much sugar is found in sodas and other sugary drinks. "I'm going to stay away from sugary drinks," said Juan Martinez, 35. "You can't get better than water."
The story was accompanied by a gallery of pictures showing happy children and colorful vegetables. A one-minute video that is part of the gallery starts with a UC nutrition educator leading a group of children chanting, "Fruits and vegetables give me shiny hair, smooth skin and sparkly eyes." In the video, Shelby MacNab, UC ANR Cooperative Extension nutrition program manager in Fresno County, said in addition to the nutrition education, the program also offers technical assistance to schools to create smarter lunchrooms that lead to children making smarter choices at breakfast and lunchtime.
The part of the program that targets adults aims to help parents "plan healthy meals, stretch food dollars, and make healthy choices for their families," MacNab said.