LSU AgCenter program teaches about colorful fruits, veggies

Mary Ann Van Osdell, Plater, Brenda F., Jordan, Jacqueline A., Cawthorne, Grace L., Robinson, Cathryn B.

Omarion Jones, Johnisha Houston and Shaheaven Cooper from the David Raines Head Start Center clap to “If You’re Happy and You Know It” at the food and nutrition program at the State Fair of Louisiana put on by the LSU AgCenter on Nov. 3. (Photo by Mary Ann Van Osdell. Click on photo for downloadable image)

News Release Distributed 11/16/10

SHREVEPORT, La. – As 2,000 students toured the LSU AgCenter AgMagic exhibit at the State Fair of Louisiana, another 1,190 from Head Start and elementary schools saw an educational nutrition show.

The program was presented by the LSU AgCenter’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, dubbed EFNEP, which is designed to enhance the quality of a family’s health.

This year’s program focused on “Eating the Rainbow,” said Cathryn Robinson, LSU AgCenter agent in Caddo and Bossier parishes. The children assembled in the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum on the fair grounds to hear the messages on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.

“If you don’t like one color, you can eat from another,” Robinson said. She told the children she ate purple potatoes in Maine. “As you travel, you’ll see more variety, but you already know about this because you came to EFNEP.”

All of the presenters wore the colors of the foods they were talking about.

Robinson discussed vitamin A found in red fruits and vegetables. “If you are in a room when the lights go out and it’s dark, you see shapes because you had lots of vitamin A,” she said. “It’s our seeing-in-the-dark vitamin.”

Apples, cherries, cranberries, grapes, grapefruit, strawberries, raspberries, blood oranges, watermelon, red peppers, radishes, tomatoes, rhubarb and beets are examples of the red group.

“White foods are good for the heart and help balance body fluids,” said LSU AgCenter nutrition educator Jacqueline Jordan. She listed white corn, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, bananas and cauliflower.

Linda Perry, LSU AgCenter nutrition educator, took the yellow and orange group. “Some of these you may not recognize,” she said, listing mangoes, persimmons, papayas, yellow watermelon and yellow beets.

“The purple and blue group is high in fiber,” said Grace Cawthorne, LSU AgCenter nutrition educator. She asked the children to repeat after her, “blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, plums, raisins and purple carrots.”

“Green can help your wounds and cuts,” said Brenda Peek, LSU AgCenter nutrition educator. She named green beans, cucumbers, peas, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, avocado and kiwi.

The team used music to teach the lessons to the tunes of “Skip to My Lou,” “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” complete with stomping and turning around.

Mary Ann Van Osdell
1/4/2011 1:10:54 AM
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