Healthy Substitutions, Snacks and More

The following is a blog from NCSU student Holly Starks. It is the third (read the first week and second week) in a series of 5 Blogs she will be writing chronicling her experience as a Nutrition Instructor for a OFL Class she is Teaching. Holly is teaching OFL as part of a Service Learning Class that has teamed up North Carolina State Students with the Inter Faith Food Shuttle’s  OFL/Nutrition Program.  Through this partnership the IFFS and NCSU hope to engage students in service learning and community nutrition while expanding the reach of its OFL program.

It's the third week of the Side by Side class at the Crosby Headstart Center! We are always happy to see families having fun while learning in the class. One of the mothers, Kianna, expressed her excitement about the class. Kianna said that the class has been beneficial because of the new ideas that she is able to learn about and try at home. Kianna, who is a nurse, said that she might already know about most of the nutrition information but it has been helpful to see how other families try different methods of eating healthy and keeping the family involved. Kianna said, “I love learning, and there is always something new to learn in this class.” Kianna and he daughter Nasia enjoyed the planting activity that we had in our gardening lesson today. Kianna added, “giving her the opportunity to plant her own food helps her to see where food comes from and that it doesn’t come from the grocery store.” Kianna, who also has three other children, expressed that the class has helped her be able to get everyone involved at home when it comes to cooking and eating healthy.

In class, participants learned about making healthier choices in recipes, snacks, and even when eating out. Some of these choices included making healthier snacks at home that can be prepared ahead of time or using a nutrition facts label to determine if a packaged snack is healthy. When eating out, the participants also learned about different options like substituting healthier side dishes, sharing plates, and making low-fat choices. Families also learned about engaging the whole family in exercise by playing games and sports together or making tournaments and contests. The gardening lesson helped families learn how to start a garden by allowing them to plant their own tomatoes in class. The kids also had fun as they had the opportunity to make their own trail mix and smoothies. Our recipe this week for turkey tacos was also a great way to show different substitutions for recipes such as using low-fat cheese instead of regular cheese, ground turkey instead of beef, or whole-wheat tortillas instead of corn tortillas.

As Kianna said, there is always something new to learn, so join us next week to see what more the class has learned and to get some helpful nutrition tips.