Ingham County keeping people healthy 2017

When you support MSU Extension, participants learn safe food handling practices, increase their physical activity and improve the quality of their diets.

Developing healthy lifestyle skills

More than 1.3 million Michigan residents receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. MSU Extension’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) programs including Cooking Matters, Healthy Harvest and Show Me Nutrition help to teach adults how to make the most of their food dollars, by developing skills such as menu planning, understanding recipes and keeping food safe. Participants learned about the nutrition and health benefits of foods to feed their families in healthy ways. In 2017 Ingham MSU Extension nutrition programs was able to:

  • Graduate 87 Ingham County adults and 490 youth from a six week evidence based class on eating healthy and increasing physical activity.
  • Provide one time nutrition and physical activity sessions and workshop presentations to 238 Ingham County adults and 165 youth.
  • Secure grant funding for Central Ingham Upper Elementary School and Central Ingham Middle School to implement changes to promote healthy eating.
  • Provide information and referral processes for evidence based nutrition programs to over 50 partner agency contacts.

Sparrow Health System partnership

A partnership between Sparrow Hospital in Ingham County and MSU Extension’s Health & Nutrition Institute has formed into an outstanding service for Ingham County residents. Sparrow views Cooking Matters classes as a way to help their patients work towards health goals. In 2017, Michigan State University Extension had the privilege of teaching Cooking Matters classes to the Lansing community at Sparrow’s main hospital demonstration kitchen.

The program helps participants learn the new nutrition standards and teaches them basic cooking skills that will impact them and their families for a lifetime. Participants are engaged by having them practice the cooking techniques learned in class; everyone gets a chance to chop, dice, mince, cook, bake, mix, or clean up. The classes have also given space for parents to engage with their children in the kitchen to build confidence and spend quality time learning together. Through the partnership with Sparrow, participants are given bags of ingredients to take home and practice the skills learned in class. Sparrow also graciously provided the funds to offer parking validation so that parking was not an issue for lowincome households.

This partnership will extend well into 2018 and beyond.

Healthier child care

MSU Extension provides free coaching for eligible child care providers with the goal of improving nutrition and physical activity supports through policy, system, and environmental initiatives.

Haslett Child Development Center (Jan. 2017-July 2017)
As part of the Healthier Child Care Environment (HCE) for Policy, Systems and Environmental (PSE) Initiatives at MSU Extension, the Haslett Child Development Center was able to reach best practices according to the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC). The head start improved nutrition practices in menu variety, portion control, and implementing culturally diverse cuisine. New, healthy meals were incorporated into monthly menus. Portion control was encouraged by allowing the children to serve themselves at lunchtime. Culturally diverse meals included enchiladas, minestrone soup, and hummus with whole wheat pita and veggies during snack. A fun physical activity best practice was reached by implementing stories in motion.

Nicole Irish’s Family Home Child Care (Jan. 2017 – July 2017)
To encourage vegetables at snack time, the children helped prepare hummus and then voted on which vegetable tasted best with the hummus. The celery and red pepper tied for first place!

Teen Cuisine

Teen Cuisine is a nutrition and physical activity education program. It is for teens from 6th to 12th grade. Each class focuses on teaching cooking skills. Students also learn about nutrition, food safety and physical activity. Instructor Anne Sheltrown gives the following account of the impact this program can have:

“A group of teens at the Boys & Girls Club of Lansing utilized the Teen Cuisine series, but wanted to re-brand the group name to be “Too Much Sauce”. A lot of enthusiasm and ideas were shared about cooking and food safety. Many of the students kept the recipes and shared that they prepared the meals at home—such as chips with guacamole and homemade salsa, and barley jambalaya. Each day after lunch, the kitchen staff would disinfect the tables. Some of the teens were reluctant to help. The Teen Cuisine curriculum offers a demonstration so that teens develop a better understanding of how bacteria grows and why proper cleaning is important to health. Two slices of bread were used. One slice came into contact with a sanitized table, and the other came into contact with a trash can. The two pieces of bread were separated into plastic bags and kept in the same location for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, the piece of bread from the trashcan was riddled with green, orange and black spots signifying mold and bacteria growth. However, the bread that had come into contact with the sanitized table was spotless! The teens were completely grossed out and diligently washed their hands and sanitized surfaces promptly after the demonstration.”

Lesson learned!

Show Me Nutrition

Show Me Nutrition (SMN) is a nutrition education program for youth.in grades Pre-K through eighth. Participants engage in age appropriate, interactive activities. The program promotes healthy eating, positive body image, physical activity and food safety.

Through each interesting and fun nutrition class, students gain the skills necessary to make healthy lifestyle choices. The program supports Michigan Educational Standards and grade level expectations for math and language arts, where appropriate. Show Me Nutrition is taught at schools where at least 50 percent of students are eligible for the National School Lunch Program.

In Ingham County, 13 classes, with approximately 275 students were reached with this program. Students who took instruction with nutrition instructor Curtina Mysliewiec in the past tell her that they still remember and practice what they were taught about portion control and MyPlate guidelines. They happily tell her they choose apples instead of Cheetos.

In Ms. Johnson’s 1st Grade class, students chose to have healthy foods to celebrate birthdays rather than cake. Curtina also works with the teachers to help assimilate her information into science and math lessons. Through the use of the MyPlate* guidelines for youth, children learn about nutrition while also learning percentages, measurements, fractions, and how the body uses nutrition.

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