LSU AgCenter teaches East, West Feliciana youth about nutrition this summer

(08/30/23) BATON ROUGE, La. — Youth at summer camps in East Feliciana and West Feliciana Parishes welcomed Layne Langley, area nutrition agent with the LSU AgCenter. Langley visited the camps delivering fun, hands-on nutrition programs for the youth.

Be Fit and Healthwise is an annual summer camp hosted by RKM Primary Care for children ages 6 to 14 in East Feliciana Parish and the surrounding area. Be Fit and Healthwise Summer Camp has three main components: fitness and physical activity; nutrition; and behavioral health, which includes self-esteem, self-confidence, social skills and character building.

Each summer, the staff of the West Feliciana Parish Parks and Recreation hosts the West Feliciana Parks and Recreation Summer Camp. The camp is open to 6-to-11-year-olds for nine weeks in the summer.

Youth from throughout the parish play sports and games, hear from guest speakers and participate in field trips. The goal of the camp is for the youth to be “unplugged” so they can build relationships and develop social skills. Interactive activities help the children recharge over the summer.

Langley visited each camp four times this summer. On her visits to the Be Fit camp at Camp Avondale in Clinton, Langley delivered sessions to each of the four groups. When presenting at the West Feliciana Parks and Recreation Camp, Langley met with one large group.

To kick off her nutrition programs, Langley taught the youth to Fight BAC(teria). She spoke to them about hand washing and reminded them when they should wash their hands and for how long. She encouraged them to wash, vigorously scrubbing between fingers, around fingernails and under watches and jewelry.

Langley also discussed food safety and the importance of keeping counters, utensils and equipment and hands clean. She also talked to the campers about keeping foods separate and using different cutting boards to prevent cross-contamination.

Langley encouraged the use of food thermometers to make sure food is cooked to proper temperatures. She also spoke to the youth about chilling food before storing it and keeping it cold.

For the second session, Langley introduced the campers to the nutrition facts label. She showed them age-appropriate entertaining videos on how to read the nutrition facts labels. Langley told the campers that by eating the right foods, they feed their body and mind with the best nutrients. After the session was over, the campers made Lemon Velvet Supreme, which consisted of a graham cracker crust, yogurt and pudding filling and mandarin orange slices on top.

Langley’s third session was on the importance of whole grains and fiber. She introduced them to the grains food group on MyPlate and had the campers share their favorites. Langley spoke about whole gains and refined grains and why they should make half their grains whole grains because of fiber. The recipe prepared by the campers was Honey Milk Balls — a tasty snack made with peanut butter, honey, dry milk and cereal.

The last session delivered by Langley was Rethink Your Drink. She reminded the campers how to read and use the nutrition facts and told the groups that beverages are important to our bodies. She also informed the campers that extra calories provide little nutrition and can lead to unwanted weight gain.Many campers were surprised at how unhealthy some of the beverages were. Langley challenged the campers to make good beverage decisions that are healthy choices like water, milk and 100% juice. To wrap up this session, the campers each made a low-fat smoothie in a bag.

Langley chose the program topics she believed could be something useful for the youth and something they could share with their families. The recipes Langley chose for each program were for easy-to-make snacks that are nutritious and require minimal parental supervision.

Langley sends a special thanks to Tayler Hunt with RKM Primary Care for providing the ingredients and supplies for the Be Fit Camp in East Feliciana. Also, thanks to Coach King and Lorie Grezaffi with the West Feliciana Parks and Recreation Summer Camp for making sure equipment and ingredients were available for the programs.

For more information about the nutrition programs offered in East Feliciana and West Feliciana parishes, contact Langley at

4-H youth working together looking at nutrition ingredients of beverages.

Working together to determine which beverages are the healthiest are Emmit Young from Ethel and Aniyah Scott from Jackson, who attended Be Fit Camp this summer. Photo by Layne Langley/LSU AgCenter

4-H youth measuring ingredients for honey milk balls.

Aubree Jackson from Ethel and Ivyona Gipson from Jackson work together to measure ingredients for the honey milk balls they made as part of their activities during Be Fit Camp at Camp Avondale in Clinton. Photo by Layne Langley/LSU AgCenter

4-H youth drinking a cool treat from a bag.

Enjoying this cool treat are Arianna Lessard from Clinton, Saul Herrin from Jackson and Tristian Garrett and Tzar Davis, both from Clinton, learned about nutrition and fitness at this summer’s Be Fit Camp in Clinton. Photo by Layne Langley/LSU AgCenter

8/30/2023 3:23:30 PM
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