Orleans SNAP-Ed Rocks

Emelia Clement  |  10/15/2014 11:18:46 PM

Doing the limbo.

Making MyPlate.

Childhood obesity is a public health problem in Louisiana. Statistics from the New Orleans Health Department (Community Health Data Profile: Healthy Lifestyles in New Orleans, June 2013) indicate that over one-third of youth are overweight and do not meet physical activity recommendations and less than a quarter report eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Since lifestyle and eating habits are formed in the early years of life, helping young children to develop healthy eating habits and be physically active are important strategies to prevent or reduce childhood obesity.

Under the SNAP-Ed Program in Orleans Parish the Happy Healthy Me curriculum based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate was used to meet this need. Through six interactive sessions using story-telling, nutrition activities (drawing and coloring, games, songs, physical activities), Q & A and a recipe demonstration, young children were able to make the connection between good nutrition, physical activity and a healthy body.

Sixty-four (64) Pre-K youth from three early childhood development centers were impacted in the past two months. Based on the interactive portions of program delivery, youth participants:

·Recognized MyPlate as a guide for healthy eating.

·Were able to sort foods according to MyPlate food groups.

·Were able to describe the health benefits of each food group.

·Learned that eating healthy foods and moving their bodies makes them healthy and strong.

Youth audience enjoyed making and tasting their own MyPlate salad and fruit salad, making and having fun with “veggie tambourines," dancing to MyPlate songs (Alive with five food groups) and doing the “animal moves."

More young children in other head start centers will benefit from SNAP-Ed in upcoming months.

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