- Author: Haley Gostanian
- 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.
My time here with the UC CalFresh Program has been quite insightful. It was great to see that nutrition education is provided to those that need it most right here in our own community. I had the opportunity to observe and facilitate nutrition lessons for both adults and children during my time with the program.
The lessons that are taught through the UC CalFresh Program are from curricula created by the University of California system, and include education on MyPlate and other important aspects of nutrition and health. I found it very rewarding to teach children as young as first grade about MyPlate and the importance of nutrients for the body. I'm glad there are programs like this one that are helping to increase the knowledge of nutrition in elementary school aged children because I was never exposed to this type of information until I was in college. Knowing that these children are being taught such important lessons is significant to me as a future dietitian, as it increases their chances of living a healthier lifestyle as they get older. Observing the adult classes was also an exciting part of my time with the program, as I have not had a chance to teach an adult class about nutrition. I helped facilitate the review portion of different sessions, prepare a nutritious fruit salad and instruct short physical activities.
Another part of my rotation included creating a Nutrition Corner poster in which I chose the topic of animal protein and plant protein, providing tips on how to utilize and incorporate both into an everyday diet. I made it interactive by having the tips hidden under flaps that you have to open, which I hope will get students to actually come up to the board and engage with the information. I also created a newsletter for teachers and parents discussing the importance of calcium in the diet, and facts about calcium that would be interesting to students as well as parents.
Overall, my experience was extremely beneficial in expanding my creativity for teaching students as well as adults. It is important as a future dietitian to know what types of materials different populations are receptive to, and to truly be passionate about the information you are providing so that the audience is more engaged with that information.