UNION — Go! Slow! Whoa! These words are not usually associated with foods. However, during the Save the Children Afterschool Program, children are learning to think about their food choices. The children were able to show their parents what they have been learning during the first activity of the Family Engagement Night conducted by the Healthy Choices Coordinator Vicki Toney. This set the stage for the focus of this event, making the choice to prepare healthy foods that are delicious.
Tammy Williams, Program Coordinator of the Save the Children Program, introduced the presenter and “chef,” Janie Gist, Nutrition Education Assistant with Clemson Extension. Janie provided a wonderful, yummy, and informative time. She prepared healthy recipes, explained the importance of making wise food choices, and gave many helpful tidbits while chopping and mixing ingredients. During this time, Janie referred to the alarming statistics of childhood obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. She emphasized the need for parents/guardians to plan and give children healthy meals.
Then came the opportunity for the sampling of what Janie prepared — Fruit Salad, 3-Bean Salad, and Beefy Mac and Cheese (recipes provided). All the while Janie was discussing, explaining, and answering questions about food choices and nutrition.
The event ended with a final cooking activity with the children getting to make an egg/bread cutout. They appeared to enjoy this experience — both helping to prepare it and eating it!