- Author: Veronica Kohtz
- Editor: Emily Harris
Fresno and Madera Counties' UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program has a long standing partnership with the Fresno State Dietetic Internship Program. This blog post is part of our Intern Reflections Series.
Before starting at UC CalFresh, I had never heard of the program. I quickly learned that the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program is a part of the UC Cooperative Extension and uses the research from the University of California system to provide nutrition education to children and adults.
During my two weeks at UC CalFresh, I had the opportunity to work with both the adult nutrition education program and the youth nutrition education program. All of the lessons included MyPlate, which clearly illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks of a healthy diet.
I asked this classroom of students to flex their muscles. Using Myplate, I explained that the protein group helps us develop strong muscles.
I asked this group of students to tell me what vegetables they recognize on the MyPlate display.
I enjoyed working with the students. They were fun, creative, and loved sharing their favorite healthy foods! The UC CalFresh curriculum helps children learn about healthy foods to encourage good choices and habits. It was refreshing to hear that some students have had UC CalFresh Nutrition Education for multiple years, some starting the program as early as preschool!
This student helped me complete the MyPlate Puzzle.
I also assisted with the adult nutrition education program at sites including Jobs and Beyond and Rescue the Children. This was my first nutrition education experience working with adults in a professional setting. While assisting the classes, I recognized the need for nutrition education. The UC CalFresh educators and I taught topics such as the MyPlate food groups, food safety, and how to read nutrition facts labels. The information will help participants make healthier choices for themselves and their families.
Additionally, I created a Nutrition Corner focused on the dairy food group. The Nutrition Corner will be displayed at elementary schools and will enhance the school environment by providing indirect nutrition education. My display will help students understand low-fat and fat-free sources of dairy and the important nutrients dairy foods contain.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UC CalFresh! My two weeks were packed with fun and challenging experiences. I learned a lot about nutrition education curriculum and how to effectively teach to children and adults from the UC CalFresh staff. The UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program is helping to build and maintain healthy communities and families. I am proud to have been involved with such an important program that is influencing the future health of Fresno and Madera Counties.