When Cynthia Whitaker, West Feliciana Parish Early Head Start/Head Start Health Coordinator for the Family Service Center started working on an agenda for the October Head Start Parent Committee Meeting, she reached out to Layne Langley, Area Nutrition Agent with the LSU AgCenter looking for nutrition programs for the parents and grandparents of the students and as well as the staff of the Family Service Center. Langley decided to conduct MyPlate the Healthful Way Program.
During the October 7 program, she taught the participants about the food groups that comprise the USDA’s MyPlate. Langley passed out dry erase MyPlate cards and asked the participants to list as many foods as possible on each of the food groups of the MyPlate they could. She then had the group share their answers. Langley covered key messages such as “Enjoy your food, but eat less”, “Avoid oversized portions”,” Make half your plate fruits and vegetables”, “Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk”, “Make at least half your grains whole grains”, “Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, frozen meals- choose foods with lower numbers”, and “Drink water instead of sugary drinks”. The participants were given a recipe and asked to make it healthy by making changes and modifications. After the group shared their changes, the group prepared Magical Fruit Salad.
In early November, Whitaker again contacted Langley to schedule another nutrition program. It was decided by Whitaker from a list of topics supplied by Langley that the program would be on physical activity/exercise. It was titled Be Active Your Way. On November 10, Langley started the program by having the participants do some warmup exercises- leg lifts. She asked for the definition of physical activity and exercise. Langley then provided each participant with sticky notes and asked them to write the benefits of physical activity/exercise and place their ideas on a poster. Afterwards, Langley shared the “results”. She then began discussing why the participants should strive to maintain a healthy weight. Langley shared moderate- intensity and vigorous intensity exercises with the group. Participants were offered slips of cardstock with potential barriers to physical activity/exercise. Each participant offered their suggestions to overcoming the barrier and received other suggestions from the group. The session included making a Fruit Smoothie. Before wrapping up the session, Langley led the group in an exercise walking video.
For more information about the nutrition programs offered at The Family Service Center in West Feliciana Parishcontact Layne Langley at 225-635-3614 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture