Fathers Hand- Nutrition Education for Male Mentors and Boys

Basil Boys!

A visual for the guys to pass around to touch, feel, and smell fresh basil!

A visual for the guys to pass around to touch, feel, and smell fresh basil!

WVU’s Human Nutrition and Foods department spearheaded a lesson within the existing program, “Fathers Hand” at the Shack Neighborhood House. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Shack Neighborhood House, commonly known as the Shack, it is a non-profit community center for the surrounding communities of Morgantown, WV. The Shack runs programs for children, adolescents, teens, and families all year long. Throughout the school year, most programming is run after school and in the evening. In the summer time, programs are run throughout the day, as well as in the evening.

Fathers Hand is an evening program that is designed for male adult mentors and male children. Normally, Fathers Hand every 1st, 2nd, and 4th Thursday of the month from 6pm-8pm. Since April is “Child and Family Awareness Month”, the Shack thought it would be nice to have Fathers Hand every Thursday this month, instead. Fathers Hand is an open program to increase male bonding and expose these men and young men, to anything and everything new that they normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience without the help from the Shack.

Well, tonight marked our second lesson and had an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, incorporating the use of container gardens. I developed the lesson plans for the 3 weeks of content for the program, as well as creating handouts, recipes, instructions for activities, and purchased the groceries. Within the lesson, a dinner/meal is included so, we try to always make something for the participants that’s easy to make AND healthy as well. WVU Student Dietetic Association (SDA) volunteers to help cook the meals each lesson. This way, participants are encouraged to try to make these meals outside of the Shack, within their home environment.

Tonight, the lesson consisted of information about how many servings of fruits and vegetables that everyone should be eating. The participants learned the concept of “5-A-Day”, which refers to eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. The theme of tonight’s lesson was BASIL! The activity was making container basil gardens out of plastic cups. This will serve as a “starter” garden for all the guys, adults included. Both recipes that the participants were served, contained basil and were made with healthy ingredients, which the participants received recipe handouts on as well.

The participants were educated on the MyPlate, using a poster, and focusing on fruits and vegetables. The lesson focused on fruit and vegetable identification, so fresh basil was passed around as a visual for everyone to touch, feel, and smell. The incorporation of fruits and vegetables that were unfamiliar like heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, avocados, and mangoes was another visual for the participants. The lesson was geared towards green leafy vegetables but, also incorporated “new” and unfamiliar produce which we aim to accomplish overall to teach everyone food identification skills that they could use all year long! 

Shack Neighborhood House

The beginning of the basil, tomato, and zucchini casserole!

The beginning of the basil, tomato, and zucchini casserole!

basil garden1

basil garden

A variety of heirloom tomatoes to show the participants that veggies come in different colors, you wouldn't think of!

A variety of heirloom tomatoes to show the participants that veggies come in different colors, you wouldn’t think of!

heirloom2

heirloom_red

heirloom_lgreenheirloom_yellow

heirloom_green

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Major Match Day

Major Match Day at WVU

Major Match Day at WVU was held last Wednesday in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. What this special day is, a collaborative effort from all participating WVU departments to provide information about the different programs and majors that WVU has to offer. So, freshman who are undecided about their major, people looking to pick up a minor, and even local high school students came to the event to search their options. Over 100 majors were represented and over 900 students were in attendance. The event was held by WVU’s Undergraduate Advising Services Center (UASC) and they provided everyone with a table and chairs.

It was really interesting to not only see how many different majors and minors were available at WVU but, also to see how the different departments represented themselves. I have never attended anything like this before, let alone spearhead it. But, I had fun. I had the chance to explain our program, our course list, and specifically what you can do with a degree in Human Nutrition and Foods. I brought my laptop with me to show students different pathways that this major can lead you in and explained to them the thousands of ways they can utilize it.

The event was 10am-4pm so, I arrived approximately at 9:00am to make sure I was set up properly and felt comfortable with my table’s arrangement. I recruited 3 other undergraduate students from the WVU Student Dietetic Association to also give students advice about the program since they were prime examples of HNF, currently. And honestly, it felt rewarding to explain Human Nutrition and Foods to students because, I think the program was never properly explained to me when I first entered the program as an undergraduate student. Overall, it was a really good experience and the coordinator said they will hopefully have another Major Match Day for the Fall semester.

From left to right: Brooke Irwin, Brooke Cenkus, and Mary Salvatore (All undergraduate students in HNF). And then me all the way on the right :)

From left to right: Brooke Irwin, Brooke Cenkus, and Mary Salvatore (All undergraduate students in HNF). And then me all the way on the right 🙂

A social media card I made for students to take from our table.

A social media card I made for students to take from our table.

The UASC gave us templates to keep track of students who inquired information about our program

The UASC gave us templates to keep track of students who inquired information about our program

An afternoon snack provided to all the departments for attending the event! Yumm!

An afternoon snack provided to all the departments for attending the event! Yumm!

WV Family Grief Center

Earlier last week, I was approached by 2nd year students from the School of Pharmacy. They were working on a semester-long service learning project where they needed to collaborate with another WVU student organization. So, they were providing the West Virginia Family Grief Center with a nutritious dinner and asked if the WVU Student Dietetic Association could provide some assistance. The School of Pharmacy students requested we provide the families on Thursday January 31st with information on easy, inexpensive, healthy meal ideas. So, I created handouts on Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas and Easy Meal Planning. I asked 2 undergraduates to accompany me to the event, to give the undergraduates practice at public speaking. We arrived to the location, on Scott Avenue in Morgantown, at approximately 5:30pm and left the event around 7:45pm. The participants were really receptive of the materials we provided and the coordinator of the center even took extra handouts to leave out for other members of the Church of Christ, where the center meets.

WV Family Grief Ctr

 

The Never-Ending Week of Nutrition

What a week I have had! Let’s map this week out thus far…

Monday

  • WVU Agricultural Sciences Annex Test Kitchen audit 4pm-6:30pm; 7:30pm-9pm
  • Student Dietetic Association meeting 6:30pm

Tuesday

  • ISPP Action Team Undergraduate Intern meeting 6:30pm
  • Action For Healthy Kids
  • Shack Neighborhood House
  • Children’s Discovery Museum of WV
  • Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design

Wednesday

  • A Taste Around the World: “A Mountaineer Mexican Fiesta”
  • A program educating students on campus (undergraduates/graduates) about food culture awareness, nutrition education, and culinary skill-building.
  • Located at the Ag Sciences Annex Test Kitchen 6pm-8pm

Thursday

  • Organized information and recruitment for an event that the WVU School of Pharmacy invited us to.
  • The information was presented to the West Virginia Grief Center.
  • Thursday Jan 31st 5:45pm; Present information at approximately 6:15pm

Friday

  • Women Love Your Heart Health Screening set-up
  • Friday Feb. 1st 5pm

Saturday

  • Women Love Your Heart Health Screening main event
  • Saturday Feb. 2nd 7:30am-2pm

 

So, stay tuned ladies and gentleman… You’ll be reading some very interesting community nutrition blogs within the next few days!