- Author: Alicia Rodriguez
- 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.
During my two weeks at UC CalFresh, I was privileged to both observe and lead nutrition outreach to many different populations. The groups ranged from adult classes at the Veterans Administration to elementary students at Ayer Elementary School in the Fresno Unified School District and Bailey Elementary School in the Firebaugh–Las Deltas Unified School District.
As I observed or taught the sessions, it became increasingly clear to me just how important these lessons are. Each individual comes from a unique background and home environment, but everyone is entitled to learn about health and how to care for their bodies. I watched veterans learn how to meal plan and think through some tips to save on groceries, and I lead children through exercises that re-enforced the benefits of eating the MyPlate food groups. All activities, lessons, chants, books, posters, and sample food items helped promote and shape health in our society and our future leaders.
It also became clear to me just how critical the nutrition educators are to this process. They lead every session with enthusiasm and a clear desire to promote better health. I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to lead the sessions myself, and practice putting my own energy into health promotion.
Some other projects I worked on included writing parent and teacher newsletters about dried fruit, creating a MyPlate Nutrition Corner and re-evaluating the pricing of some of the main recipes used in food demos. Perhaps one of the most memorable days of my rotation was assisting several of the nutrition educators in a Food Friday event at Ayer Elementary School. This MyPlate-themed obstacle course was the result of four weeks of students tracking their fruit and vegetable consumption at school. Miss Strawberry became my name for the morning, and my duties ranged from leading group stretches, educating about the importance of exercise and hydration, and leading a MyPlate activity.
Overall, I enjoyed this rotation through community nutrition immensely, and it further developed my interest in public health. To future interns preparing for these two weeks, I would recommend you arrive energized and ready to make a positive impact.