Grand Isle, Louisiana is a two (2) hour drive from the LSU gCenter Extension office/Jefferson Parish, located in the Joseph Yenni building. This coastal town which rests in the southern most point of the parish, rarely receives programming, because of its distance from the urban areas of Jefferson Parish.
That is why Karen Marie Jones, an Area Nutrition Agent with Snap Ed decided to include Grand Isle in her programming for 2016. “The people of Grand Isle deserve to be served,” she explained. So she called the school, senior center and library to recruit groups for her 6 week series of Nutrition lessons. And, she partnered with the Agents in 4 H, which is also a part of the LSU AgCenter in Jefferson Parish to carpool to reduce travel expenses.
At Grand Isle School, Karen Marie completed 3 youth series for a total of 50 youth. One group of 2nd and 3rd grade students, a second group of 7th grade students and a third group of 9th grade students. She also traveled down island to complete a six week series with a group of 13 seniors at the Grand Isle Senior Center.
“We focus on nutrition and healthy lifestyles because the incidence of chronic diseases in Louisiana is so high, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Often times these chronic diseases are attributed to unhealthy food choices and lack of physical activity. We are what we eat and our bodies are made to move, so the six (6) lessons taught focus on healthy lifestyle choices to change behavior. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables for example is an important lesson. Choose lower fat animal sources by trimming visible fat from meats and eat more plant based foods like beans and peas. Make your Monday a red beans and brown rice day to increase fiber and lower total fat. Move more by including physical activity into each day a few minutes at a time. Walking, playing, dancing are all forms of movement that will burn calories, strengthen muscles, help your heart and make your bones strong, also. Limiting screen time to two (2) hours a day is important at any age, including the use of cell phones, computers, tablets, laptops, games played on any device or game stations.
Part of Nutrition lesson also included a recipe or food tasting that coincided with the individual lesson.
View the video to see more about the LSU AgCenter in Grand Isle.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture