- Author: Christine Davidson
Parents at Davidson and Anton Elementary in the San Bernardino Unified School District, were invited to participate in a series of workshops provided by the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Food Preserver (MFP) and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Programs (EFNEP). The first EFNEP series included 9 lessons from the Eating Smart Being Active curriculum. The focus was eating well and living a healthier life style. Each week parents learned about a new topic such as My Healthy Plate, whole grains, meal planning, saving money, and food safety. Parents also participated in 15 minutes of physical activity through walking indoors videos. During the workshops, parents tasted new recipes as well as set goals and received lesson enhancements to encourage behavior change. At the end of the series, parents who attended at least 7 lessons received a certificate of graduation.
The EFNEP workshops were followed by the MFP jam making class. Parents made mixed berry freezer jam. Food safety measures learned during the EFNEP workshops, were reinforced by emphasizing the importance of hand washing, using a clean surface and storing at the proper temperature. Parents learned they can store their jam in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for 12 months. Tips on stretching your food dollar were also reinforced by sharing various types of fruit that can be used for jam. This is a great way to save money by buying seasonal or frozen fruit, using fruit from a home garden, reusing containers found at home, sharing with friends and giving jam as gifts. Everyone had smiles on their faces while making and tasting their jam!