MAKING A DIFFERENCE NEWSLETTER - Issue 2, Volume 18 (May-2018) Issue 2, Volume 18 (May 2018) - Page 16

Dinner Tonight Healthy Cooking School

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Harris County, Texas Children Hospital, City of Houston Dental Program, Can Do, Houston Food Bank, Houston Public Library and other local agencies partnered to implement the Houston Independent School District’s PEAS in a Pod Project.

The purpose of the Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program’s, PEAS in a Pod (Partnering for Early Access for Success) is to improve the overall health, fitness, and nutrition of students at three HISD early childhood centers (Fonwood, Gabriel Mistral and Ninfa Laurenzo). This is a 5 year federal grant project funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services beginning March 2016 - February 2021, with renewal dependent upon success and funding availability. The grant is entering its third year.

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension’s role in the partnership is to conduct Dinner Tonight Healthy Cooking Schools. The interactive cooking schools bring parents together in a fun and engaging environment to learn basic cooking skills, the importance of

family mealtime and how parenting style may impact a child’s eating behavior. Participants are provided with resource material, cookbooks and food samples. Afterwards families receive weekly simple and healthy recipes.

The Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is a 7-week nutrition education series that is also offered to parents. The series addresses healthy eating, family meal planning, food shopping basics, food safety, basic food preparation, and the importance of including physical activities in daily life. Each hour session also includes a food demonstration and physical activity.

Agents Sonja Davis and Elizabeth Trejo along with staff and volunteers conducted a Dinner

Tonight Healthy Cooking School with parents and youth at Gabriel Mistral on February 15th with 41 participants. Parents were encouraged to include their children in the meal planning, preparation and clean up. Suggestions were made to rotate menu selection throughout the family, allow children to assist by reading recipes to build literacy and measuring ingredients to build math skills. The presentations discussed the family mealtime environment and provided tips for planning ahead to make family mealtime less stressful.

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PEAS in a Pod

Partnering for Early Access for Success