EFNEP - Success Stories

Sandra May, Robinson, Cathryn B., Roy, Heli J.  |  3/18/2005 10:10:34 PM

Caddo EFNEP Youth Learn about Personal Health

The 34th annual Summer Activity Days of the Caddo/Bossier Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) were held June 12- July 14, 2006. A total of 18 camps were conducted reaching 352 area youth. Each camp was unique to
its location; time varied between 9:00 a.m. until noon or 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.

These camps were conducted to involve limited-resource youth in taking charge of their personal health and to introduce EFNEP and its goals to the children through special activities. This year’s theme was Eating Healthy Snacks. A lecture was presented that highlighted healthy foods and snacks for school age children. Although most of the youth had heard something about eating healthy, our goal became getting them to understand that eating is only one element of personal health management.

To achieve optimum health, they had to understand that nutrition is more than skin deep. Nutrition affects the major organ systems such as the heart, kidneys and liver, They learned about the major organs of the body, their functions and how food is used to support the organs and body functions.

Sheron Raymond and Dewey Moorman, community educators of the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA), presented the Donor Man to show the vital organs and to explain their function. The Donor Man is a CPR dummy with removable vital organs.  Each child had the opportunity to take out the organs and to examine them as the community educators discussed their functions.

They also had to recognize that physical activity is an important part of staying healthy and that they must include daily physical activity in their lifestyle. To accomplish this goal, Dr. Timothy Winters with the Department of Kinesiology at Louisiana State University-Shreveport Schumpert Medical Wellness Center and the Northwestern School of Nursing was recruited to involve the youth in fun, exiting but functional physical activity. This helped the youth understand that exercise can be enjoyable and successful while achieving a necessary goal of getting 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

By combining all three element of personal health -- nutrition, physical activity and taking care of one's body -- the youth were able to see that good nutrition is an important element in sustaining life.

A healthy snack of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole-wheat bread, baked chips and 100% apple juice was served to each youth. Those youth allergic to peanuts received a turkey sandwich instead.

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