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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Purple Corn is the New Rage?

Purple Corn is the New Rage?

Recently Dr. Oz, yes THE Dr. Oz, has stated that the color purple is currently “hot”.  And from my experience with anything that Dr. Oz says, nutritionally, everyone listens.

Purple corn has recently been crowned the king of the crop, according to Minnesota-based Suntava. From purple carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower to blackberries, grapes, blueberries, and cabbage, a deep purple shade is usually a good sign that fruits or vegetables contain a healthy dose of valuable phytonutrients.

Suntava purple corn has an ORAC value (per 100 grams) of 10,800, where blueberries have 4,669. ORAC scores should not be viewed in seclusion because they are a good indicator of the free-radical busting potential of foods.

The average consumer probably has never heard of purple corn before, like myself. But, shoppers are increasingly becoming more aware of the powerhouse grain source.

Suntava, which initially focused on bringing natural colors from purple corn to market as a replacement for synthetic dye Red 40, has since expanded into purple corn meal, which is used in everything from tortilla chips to snack bars, sourdough, cereals, and cakes.

The important fact that really jumped out to me when I first read about the purple-colored food source, is that its non-GMO. While certain food companies are more interested in the novelty factor of purple snacks, others have really zoned in on the antioxidant message that this food brings to the table.

Suntava Launches Purple Corn to Super Foods Status

USDA ORAC

purple corn suntava

purple corn chips

purple corn

A Taste Around the World: A Mountaineer Mexican Fiesta

A Taste Around the World: A Mountaineer Mexican Fiesta

ISPP Dietetic Interns made the front page of the DA newspaper!

ISPP Dietetic Interns made the front page of the DA newspaper!

On Wednesday January 30th, 2013, WELLWVU partnered with our Didactic Program in Dietetics at and we launched our first of four healthy food culture cooking classes on campus. This program planning started in the Fall 2012 semester. At that point, the program was initially a graduate student’s responsibility to plan, organize, and delegate but with hiccups in the way- WVU’s ISPP Dietetic Internship came to the rescue!

When we originally found out that Kaylyn Crosier and myself were going to be running the series of education programs that entailed nutrition and culinary skill-building, we though- why not incorporate food culture? Everyone loves learning about different food cultures but, this will make the series even more interesting, with the added culinary and nutrition components.

So, for our launch event- we decided on Mexico as our theme. In fact, A Mountaineer Mexican Fiesta. There was an estimated 25 students who were going to participate. WELLWVU purchased our groceries the day of the event. A created packet was given to each participant.

In each packet consisted:

  • Cover page: menu
  • Hand-washing visual guide
  • A PowerPoint presentation (printed) that Kaylyn created on knife skills
  • Mexican culture and diet handout
  • Nutritional benefits of tomatoes handout
  • Chile pepper handout

The set-up for the event entailed the aid from 2 undergraduate interns from our Human Nutrition & Foods department. We were responsible for setting chairs out for participants, hanging signage for each kitchen unit, setting out all kitchen utensils/tools at each unit, hanging decorations.

I created signs for students to pronounce menu items correctly, the program packets, the food guide pyramid signs, and delivered decorations for the Ag Sciences Annex Test Kitchen. I arrived at the kitchen at 3pm, the program lasted 6pm-8pm, and I eventually exited the kitchen at approximately 9:45pm.

mexico menu

Page 2 in participant's packet

Page 2 in participant’s packet

mexico table

mexico group signs

mexico pepper

Front page article!

Front page article!

mexico article_1

Students were educated on proper knife skills

Students were educated on proper knife skills

Students learned the importance of washing all produce before using in the kitchen...

Students learned the importance of washing all produce before using in the kitchen…

Chiles Rellenos!!

Chiles Rellenos!!

Chilaquiles... Mmmmm

Chilaquiles… Mmmmm

Pico de Gallo!

Pico de Gallo!

Signs were placed near students on cutting board safety

Signs were placed near students on cutting board safety

One of the signs used in our presentation on nutrition. This was utilized/created to increase student's culture awareness and pronunciation.

One of the signs used in our presentation on nutrition. This was utilized/created to increase student’s culture awareness and pronunciation.

The class's cooking experience was complete! Time to eat!! Ole'!!

The class’s cooking experience was complete! Time to eat!! Ole’!!