Carrot Sticks Week 3


As always, we began this Carrot Sticks with another introduction of myself, Rileigh, and Leah to the classes of kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade classes when we met at our designated times. The students remembered us and were very very excited to see us again this week. Most of the students entered the pavilion, outside, and immediately started asking questions about what they were going to learn about today and what type of smoothie were they going to try today. This made all 3 of us really happy. I’m especially happy about this because it really makes me think that what we’re educating these children on, is actually sticking. They’re really becoming interested in different food cultures and learning about different fruits in the process.

This week we decided to go along with our Asia theme and introduce the country of Vietnam to the students. We had maps of the continent of Asia on each table, approximately 2 students to each map. We asked them if they could point out Vietnam on the map and if they ever heard of the country Vietnam. Most students heard of Vietnam but, very few could point out the country on the map we provided.  We asked the class as a whole if they had ever eaten Vietnamese foods or knew of any examples of Vietnamese foods. Most named common Asian foods like fried rice and noodles. But again, very few could be specific about the difference of Asian foods compared to Vietnamese foods. Then, we introduced the avocado to the classes.

In this part of the lesson, we asked if anyone knew what an avocado was, where it grew from, and if anyone ever ate an avocado before. This is where the children really got involved. My interpretation of it was, they really like the pronunciation of the word avocado. So, this seemed to really get them more involved. Plus, they knew us pretty well at this point so; no one was really shy about asking questions or answering our questions. Then, we showed them the MyPlate poster again. We asked them if they could tell us where avocados fit in on the poster. A lot of children thought avocados were vegetables. They were surprised to find out that they were fruit.

The next step we did was actually showing them what a sliced avocado looked like before being pitted. The children LOVED this part. We passed around an avocado whole so, they could feel how rough the outside of it was and how to smelled. As we passed around the fruit, we discussed the health benefits to the class. We talked about hydration, vitamin A, vitamin E, and potassium. I was happy to see that they remembered our talks about hydration in the past few weeks. They immediately knew that fruit helped when you were dehydrated. We also talked about the importance of whole grains and how whole grains were a normal meal in Vietnam. We asked the class to name some types of whole grains that they would eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


Our activity was a coloring page of a traditional noodle soup picture. This was to go over the importance of whole grains due to energy needs, growth purposes, etc. The other activity we had for the children was an ornament craft. It was a flag of Vietnam on one side and a place for the children to draw their own picture on the other side. Many of the students made them into purses and necklaces.


Our snack we provided for them while they worked on their activities was a pineapple cranberry avocado smoothie. It consisted of diced pineapples, avocados, cranberry juice, and a splash of orange juice. The children really liked the taste of it but, didn’t like the smell of it at first. This would be the only thing that I would’ve changed if I had the chance to do it all over again.

Overall though, I enjoyed the class again. The children really seem to be learning more and more each week so, that’s all I can really ask for 🙂


Women On Wellness

The Women On Wellness fair was held on Saturday June 21st. The “WOW” was located at Heston Farm, Fairmont, WV. I arrived at the fair to register our table and set up at 7am. The goal of the fair was essentially to empower girls and women to take charge of their health and providing ways to improve their lives. Participants started arriving at 7:30am. Our goal, as a vendor, was to have helpful information available and to interact with the women at the fair. We answered questions, played an interactive game, and offered lots of handouts to women there.

This fair was really beneficial not only as an intern, to interact with the community but, to promote the Nutrition department as a whole, to the public. Everyone was asking who we were with and paid very close attention to our name tags. I felt as though people were interested in the major, department, and things we were involved with, as a whole.

The day started with registration for participants and the women walked around and gathered information from the different vendors and information tables. They were given bingo cards for the event. Each time a participant came by for information on our table or to play our game, they received a sticker for their bingo card. This generated a lot of traffic near our table for the first 2 hours, especially. After breakfast, registration, and the opening speeches on the fair, the women had sessions of physical activities like yoga, zumba, massages, and holistic healing. Our purpose, as interns, was to provide informative education like handouts and tape measures, which were easy accessible ways to monitor your health.

We had handouts of: Waist/Hip ratio measurements for women AND men, tape measures with the Davis College logo on it, how-to-read nutrition facts labels, sodium requirements/restrictions, heart healthy recipe handouts, smart substitution list, how much exercise to do to burn off certain types of food, and a fruit/veggie wheel with recipes. We also had a copy of the book “Eat This, Not That” by David Zinczenko. This book came in handy for participants to look up their favorite restaurants and see what they consisted of and how healthy or unhealthy common fast food, restaurant, and chain food manufacturers were. A lot of discussions were initiated through the book being on display at the wellness fair. This got a lot the women talking and interacting with us about current and past nutrition related issues like the Atkins Diet and the Paleo Diet.

Overall, I think we really carried ourselves “well” that Saturday. We represented the department efficiently and essentially explained what we were all about and what each intern was currently working on, educationally.

WVU Davis College Recruitment

The interns and I were approached last week with the idea of helping Davis College recruitment. I thought this would be a really cool idea because anything I can do to help advertise and boost enrollment into Davis College, I want to be a part of. So, we were told to start brain-storming about ideas for three different marketing tools; a postcard, a tri-fold, and a slide show to be shown on the Davis College Human Nutrition & Foods homepage.  As we were throwing ideas around we came up with a number of concepts to take to our meeting with recruitment and public relations.

Our Ideas:

Community: test kitchen visual with a teacher present instructing an adult class on culinary skills and promoting cooking confidence.

Community: visual with children and teaching them how to cook and prepare meals. This idea stemmed from preventing childhood obesity and again, increasing culinary confidence at a young age.

Community: visual with an RD having a group class on diabetes with the elderly. This idea stemmed from the community goals of helping one another combat diabetes and also recognizing a sense of togetherness.

Clinical: this visual depicted an RD giving nutrition therapy to a patient or client in the hospital setting. This stressed the importance of how RDs work in critical work settings.

Pediatrics: a visual of a young mother feeding her infant. Our focus here was towards a WIC or Head Start nutrition intervention approach.

Sports: this visual was of an RD on a soccer field informing a student-athlete about the nutrition facts labels on a bottle of Gatorade. This was the visual that we decided would make it to the post card idea. This picture targeted the high school population more effectively. Students at that level can relate to sports and nutrition easier.

Carrot Sticks Week 2


I began the lesson as I did last week, by introducing myself, Rileigh Johnson and Leah Gecheo to the students. A lot of the students remembered us from last week so, they were excited to see us again. Some of the students were also excited that Rileigh and I remembered them as well. I told the class that we were going to continue our talk about Asia. This week our Asian focus was on India.

On each table where the children were sitting, was a blank map of Asia and each student had a blank coloring page of a peacock. As a class, we went over the difference between India’s food guide pyramid and our MyPlate. We went over types of foods and spices like curry. We asked the children if any of them tried mangoes before. We talked about how mangoes grow in India and how Indians use mangoes in many of their common dishes.  Children raised their hands to share stories about when and what they tried that had mangoes in them. A common answer I noticed was McDonald’s smoothies with mango and pineapple. The children said they never actually saw a mango so, we passed one around for them to have a sensory evaluation of the fruit we were discussing. We talked about the importance of vitamins like vitamin A, C, and D. We asked them to name some examples of the different vitamins in mangoes and what these vitamins do to help your body. The children knew more about vitamin D than any other vitamin we talked about. They remembered some things about vitamin A because we briefly talk about that last week.


We initially planned on having the students make origami and color peacocks, India’s national bird. But, experienced that the origami was too difficult for the first group of students so, we just had the second and third groups color the peacocks. They then turned these peacocks into crowns and most of the students left the class wearing them as “Indian Princesses” and “Indian Kings”.


Our snack this week was mango lassi. The children were excited to try the mango smoothie but, a lot of the children weren’t huge fans of the mango desert. The smoothie consisted of mangoes, honey, vanilla yogurt, and 1% milk. The main complaint we heard is that the children didn’t like the honey. They liked the mango when we gave out sample slices of it though.

Overall, I think it was a success except for the snack idea. I think next I would do this lesson, I would choose a different snack idea that included mangoes.


Carrot Sticks at the Shack Neighborhood House


I’ve always had an interest in food culture, as a child and even as an adult today. When I was told about the program being started at the Shack Neighborhood House called “Carrot Sticks”, I initially thought of educating children on the importance of carrots related to nutrition. Then, once I was in contact with the coordinator, Mandy, at the Shack, I realized that the program is a so-called blank canvas for us to work with. So, I immediately thought of food culture and nutrition for children to be exposed to different foods and different preparation techniques. My preceptor came up with the idea of smoothies from Asia. So, prior to the beginning of the program I prepared two food guide pyramid handouts of various Asian countries. Each handout had 5-6 food guide pyramids. The programs were to meet once a week for 6 weeks. The program was comprised of three groups of students. Each group met for 45 min starting at 9:15am and ended at 11:30am. The three groups of children were kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders. All of the classes were held outside in a pavilion at picnic tables with little room for physical activities. The first lesson we decided on was on Japan and started on July 3, 2012.


I began each class with an introduction of myself and Rileigh Johnson. I told the class that we were here to talk to everyone about food culture and nutrition.

I began this lesson with an open discussion about what the children normally eat for breakfast. I explained to the class how breakfast is really important because what we eat first thing in the morning gives us our energy for the day and makes us feel good. I told the class that there are easy ways to remember what is good to eat for your body. Then, I introduced the food guide MyPlate. I held up a poster of the MyPlate and asked the children if they had ever seen this before. We then went over each food group, as a class. I asked the class if they could name examples of food from each food group starting with milk/dairy, protein/meat, vegetable, fruit, grain, and fats. Children listed common examples like cheese and milk for dairy, chicken, fish, and hamburger for protein, broccoli and corn for vegetable, strawberries and blueberries for fruit, cereal and pasta for grain, and butter for fats.

Then I asked the class to name fruits and vegetables based on their different colors. For example “Can anyone tell me what some red fruits are?”, “Can you name some green vegetables?”, etc.  I discussed with the class that fruits and vegetables are important in summer time because they hold more water in them than other food groups on our MyPlate. Then, as a class we discussed what dehydration is. I asked the class if anyone knew what being dehydrated was. I discussed how we get dehydrated and why. I asked the class if anyone gets sleepy or cranky when they’re too hot. I then told them that the reason you feel like that when you’re too hot is because you’re dehydrated. I asked the children what are some ways that we get dehydrated. They replied with answers like “riding my bike”, “swimming”, and “playing basketball”.

Then I asked the class ways they could think of to stay cool and make sure we don’t get dehydrated. The class raised their hands and replied with “drinking water” and “eat more fruit and veggies”. I also reminded them that drinking fruit juices, eating snow cones, and eating popsicles could also make sure we don’t get dehydrated in the heat. At this point is when I introduced the Japanese food guide pyramid. I asked them to look at Japan’s food guide pyramid and compare it to our MyPlate. Each class was quiet at first, when I asked this question. So, I asked them “What about the shapes? Is Japan’s food guide shaped differently than our MyPlate?”. The children responded to this and prompted them to also notice the difference in colors and how Japan eats more fruits and vegetables compared to our food guide.


Our initial activity was essentially a physical activity that required more space than what we anticipated. But once we got to the Shack Neighborhood House and realized that we only had the space provided in a pavilion, we had to improvise. So, we decided to embrace the summer Olympics and Rileigh instructed the children in Karate and how to administer front kicks, sidekicks, etc. We told the children that this was a common practice of the Japanese and that it was especially important because of the Olympics.  Each child was also given a food passport that I assembled prior to the program. These food passports had a cover sheet to put their name on and each page was to enter each country we discuss each week, what they learned from the lesson, and what food we talked about associated with a different country. The junior volunteers kept these for each student so they wouldn’t lose them.


The snack we provided was a green tea smoothie. The smoothie consisted of ice, green tea, and frozen mixed fruit. We told the children that they could choose 2 fruits to be in their smoothie. They had a choice from blueberry, strawberry, peach, blackberry, or raspberry. We also provided straws, plastic spoons, paper cups, napkins, and sanitizer. As we prepared the smoothies, I asked the children if anyone ever heard of green tea. I asked the class where green tea grew from and what color did they think it was. We talked about the health benefits of green tea and explained what antioxidants were. I also discussed with the class how green tea helped prevent us from becoming sick and fought off colds.

Overall, I really enjoyed the lesson. The children seemed to be genuinely interested in the material that we covered. They were interacting with one another about the smoothies and with Rileigh and me as well. They really enjoyed the smoothie process and asked questions about how to use blenders and what each fruit was. This is exactly why I’ve always enjoyed food culture.