July 28, 2014
I have quite a few updates to our Wellness Initiative resources to share with you this week. First, we have updated the Wellness Webinar page with the information for next month’s webinar on Healthy Concessions, which will be on August 26 at 1:30PM. Please join us for this free educational opportunity by registering now!
We have also updated the Wellness Toolkit with new information. There is now a new page for healthy snack guidelines for youth sports and programming. As your agency begins preparing for your afterschool and fall programs, use this resource to choose healthier options for the kids you serve.
And if you would like more information about finding sources for healthy food, visit our new produce sources page, which contains some of the information covered in our Healthy Food Workshops. There are links to databases of local farmers and distributors, as well as resources for finding food donations.
Finally, I want to share a few more updates from our Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation Healthy Eating Equipment Grantees:
Greenville Recreation and Parks: Greenville received grant funds to establish a new garden at Greenfield Terrace Park. From Dennis Vestal: "The grant has truly opened up new activities for our Playground Program. We’ve purchased the kitchen supplies and have planted the garden (corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, okra, bean, peppers, eggplant, cantaloupe watermelon, herbs, and others. Joni Torres, a master gardener from the local Agriculture Extension Office, has been scheduled at the camp many times and she’s been able to teach the kids a tremendous amount about how to plant the vegetables, care of them and proper harvesting techniques. She’s also the garden keep for the community garden at Alice Keene Park, so our kids have been able to take field trips there for lessons and to work in their children’s garden. We’ve also scheduled Lauren Dail, also from the Agriculture Extension Office in the 4H program. Lauren is a Nutrition Program Assistant and she has visited the Playground Program twice most weeks this summer to teach the children about the importance of eating healthy food and shows them how to prepare healthy snacks (which they eat). Many days they are able to have snacks from the food in the garden, but when that’s not possible we are purchasing other items for snacks. We were even able to have a July 4th cookout (held July 3rd). The kids had grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast, salad, a vegetable sauté from the garden and mash potatoes from the garden. Everything was a great hit!
The kids have a new outlook on eating habits and have really enjoyed the fresh foods they’ve been introduced to. The garden is doing very well and the kids are able to take food home to their families to share when there’s more than they can prepare for snacks. Unfortunately we did have someone vandalize the garden one weekend by ripping up the corn, stepping on the squash plants and smashing melons. Our staff along with Joni were able to turn a negative into a positive by teaching the kids about respecting others property. This truly did impact the kids as you can imagine they have a lot of ownership and pride in the garden. The squash was able to be replanted with the hopes of a second crop and other vegetables were planted where the corn once was."
New Bern Parks and Recreation: New Bern received grant funds for equipment to establish nutrition classes for their summer camp and afterschool programs. From James Bullock: "The summer nutrition classes are going well. We have about 25 to 35 kids per class with 3 classes remaining for the summer camps. After camp, we will begin the family nutrition classes and demonstrations as well as nutrition and healthy eating classes in our afterschool programs."
Thanks to Greenville, New Bern, and the other grantees for their commitment to promoting healthy eating! For more updates from the grantees, check out future Wellness Bulletins, or visit the grantee page in the Wellness Toolkit.
Graduate Assistant, NC Recreation & Park Association
883 Washington St, Raleigh, NC 27605