(Left to right) Peyton Airhart, Maddox Watkins, Carter Hamilton, and Eli Dwyer work together to determine if their food packages provide calcium and which foods offer high or low amounts of calcium.
LSU AgCenter Area Nutrition Agent talks with these campers about the MyPlate and the five food groups.
Emma Soulier uses these fresh strawberries to make her Strawberry Pizza.
For six years, Layne Langley, Area Nutrition Agent with the LSU AgCenter, has been delivering nutrition programs to the youth participating in the West Feliciana Parks & Rec Summer Camp and this year was no different. When Langley was conducted by Lorie Grezaffi, West Feliciana Parish Event Specialist/Administrative Assistant, to conduct some nutrition sessions during summer camp, Langley quickly said yes and started planning the session topics.
On her first visit, Langley introduced the campers to the USDA’s MyPlate. She discussed each of the five food groups- Dairy, Protein, Fruits, Grains, and Vegetables. The youth split into two teams for the MyPlate Relay where they raced to place plastic food into food group buckets. Langley reviewed the placings with the campers. Afterwards, the youth were each given a magnetic food and one by one they placed their food onto the corresponding food group. After going over the food placements, the campers prepared and tasted MyPlate Quesadillas.
During another visit, the youth learned about the importance of breakfast and the Dairy Foods Group. They learned why they needed calcium in their diet and about osteoporosis. Langley told them they should be consuming 2 ½ to 3 cups of dairy or dairy products daily. She instructed them on how to use the nutrition facts label to determine if food contains calcium. Langley also spoke to them about the non-dairy food sources that provide calcium such as broccoli, fortified orange juice, and sardines. The campers took part in Please Pass the Milk- a relay race where the youth had to pass empty milk jugs either over their heads or under their legs to the person in front of them as fast as they could. The session wrapped up with the youth making and sampling Strawberry Pizza.
Knowing how vital it is to consume fruits and vegetables, Langley’s next session was Make Half Your Plate Fruits & Vegetables. The youth discovered the numerous health benefits of fruits and vegetables. They also discussed the various colors of fruits and vegetables and the different nutrients and health benefits associated with each color. The campers played Use Color as Your Guide Game where they named a fruit or vegetable depending on the color the camper in the center of the circle selected. Youth then played “What Am I” trying to decide which fruit or vegetable Langley was describing with her clues. At the end of the session, the campers made and sampled Asian Coleslaw. This recipe drew a mixture of responses with only about half liking it.
While conducting the Handwashing and Food Safety Session, Langley reminded the campers how important it is to wash their hands. She taught them the difference between bacteria and viruses. To show how easily germs are transmitted, Langley divided the camp into small groups. She selected one youth who she squirted Glitter Bug Potion on their hands and then asked them to shake the hands of those in their group. Afterwards, the youth were able to “see” the pretend germs using a blacklight. The campers were fascinated by what they saw. They returned to the blacklight after washing their hands trying to remove the germs. The campers took part in a Before and After Activity where they determined when they should wash their hands after seeing cards with pictures like taking out the garbage and playing with pets. Langley discussed cross-contamination and how to keep food safe to eat. She showed growth of bacteria on food left out. Many campers were amazed at how fast bacteria multiply on food left out. To wrap up the session, youth made Low-fat Yogurt Smoothies in a Bag. The refreshing treat was a hit!
Special thanks to Coach Preston King who runs the West Feliciana Parks & Rec Summer Camp. He was always so helpful! Langley hopes that the campers shared her nutrition messages with their families. After each session, she left factsheets, nutrition resources, and copies of the recipes with the camp to share with the families.
For more information about the nutrition programs in West Feliciana Parish, contact Layne Langley at 225-635-3614 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dylan Black and Macie Cannon work together to figure out each other’s favorite fruit by asking a series of questions.
John Levert helps prepare Asian Coleslaw.
Cameron Pearson adds an ingredient to the Asian Coleslaw.
Jackson DeSalvo looks for germs using this blacklight.
Hayes Maginnis and Emmett Whitman finish off their Low-fat Smoothie in a Bag.
Maddox Watkins reads the calcium content from the nutrition facts labels found on the food packages his team worked with while Eli Dwyer looks on.