Summertime is a wonderful time to teach children about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables that provide a variety of nutrients to help their bodies grow and become stronger. Our 4-H staff partnered with SNAP-Ed Educator, Whitney Kmetz to provide impactful and meaningful nutrition education lessons for Madison County youth through Cornell Cooperative Extension. SNAP-Ed is a federally funded program through the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). The program’s goal is to provide participants with the tools, tips & tricks that help them make nutritious food choices. During the classes, a food component was included to reinforce topics learned along with a discussion about food safety and knife skills.
In July, children learned about how foods are classified between Go, Slow, and Whoa based on nutritional value. During the lesson, Whitney explained to children that eating as many Go foods as possible would provide them with the best energy to get through the day. Slow foods are those with some added sugar, salt or fat that should be eaten less often than Go foods. And finally, Whoa foods are those that should only be consumed occasionally or as a treat. After the lesson, the children prepared a delicious recipe called “Sunshine Roll Ups” which had many different food groups in it where they could see how delightful food can be when incorporated into a wrap. The recipe can be found here: https://www.foodhero.org/recipes/sunshine-roll-ups .
Also in July, during another class children made “Peanut Butter Banana Pockets” followed by a discussion about how snacks should have nutrient dense calories not empty calories. The children also learned that they should have at least two food groups for a snack. For example, in this recipe there is fruit, protein, and whole grains! This recipe can be found here: https://cookingmatters.org/recipes/peanut-butter-and-banana-pockets/ .
In August, children did a relay game trying to recall information they learned about Go, Slow, and Whoa foods in teams to classify foods based on nutritional value. Afterwards, they prepared “Fresh Peach Salsa” using peppers and onions donated from Common Thread, a *CSA located in Madison County. Providing fresh, local produce for children to try is a wonderful experience as it creates a stronger connection to where our food comes from.
Although while Summer is winding down, SNAP-Ed is always looking for partners in schools and community organizations within the county to provide nutrition education to diverse groups! Reach out to Whitney Kmetz at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about SNAP-Ed and programming opportunities.
For more information on Cornell Cooperative Extension Madison County, please visit our website at madisoncountycce.org to sign up for emails and ‘like’ our Facebook page @CCEMadison. You can also contact us at 315-684-3001.
Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.