Category Archives: Nutrition

Senior Cooking Class with Chef Tim

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By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

You’re never too old to learn something new, and the dozen Kent County senior citizens who participated in the Food Bank of Delaware’s Senior Cooking Classes on Thursday, March 26 in the afternoon demonstrated that learning can be fun . . . and tasty.

The ladies, along with one gentleman, joined Chef Instructor Tim Hunter in the classroom of the Food Bank’s Culinary School in Milford for an hour-long class/ demonstration.

Chef Hunter chose recipes that incorporated food items these senior might receive in their monthly box. All of these seniors qualify for the class funded through the Palmer Home Foundation grant by meeting USDA income guidelines; not all, however, receive a monthly box.

The theme of the day was to offer some creative and tasty ways to use leftover roast chicken or turkey. Each CFSP package includes fruits, vegetables, carbohydrate, protein (the chicken, for example), grains, and dairy.

These seniors also told Chef Hunter they wanted to learn how to correctly prepare wheat pasta, so he took the group into the kitchen to show them how long to cook the pasta and how to drain it was well.

“The key is to undercook or it gets mushy,” he said.

As for the examples and samples, Chef Hunter and the Milford Culinary School Class prepared a tasty salad using the whole wheat pasta, fresh herbs and some of the leftover chicken dressed with a home-made vinaigrette, chicken orzo soup based on a freshly prepared chicken stock using the carcass, and mini chicken pot pies.

Brittany, a student nutrition intern with the Food Bank, handed out samples as chef talked about the ease of preparation, adding some helpful cooking hints.

These senior unanimously agreed the food was delicious as they peppered him with questions, mostly asking how they could fine-tune the recipes to match their personal tastes.

“It’s up to you, as far as seasonings,” Chef Hunter said, suggesting they tie in fresh herbs as they become available.

The students were all smiles as they left because they each received about 100 pounds of food, including a frozen chicken and turkey.

If you are a senior citizen or know one in need of monthly food assistance, please contact Missy Holochwost, Senior Nutrition Coordinator, at (302) 444-8129 or mholochwost@fbd.org.

If you are a senior citizen in need of monthly food assistance, please contact Missy Holochwost, Senior Nutrition Coordinator, at (302) 444-8129 or mholochwost@fbd.org.

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Kickin’ it with Calcium at Bancroft Elementary

Who doesn’t want strong bones and muscles? Fourth graders at Bancroft Elementary were certainly excited about the prospect of having strong bones and muscles from consuming more calcium! A group of 12 students participated in Community Nutrition Educator Alyssa Atanacio’s series of Kickin’ it with Calcium classes last month.

The three-part interactive class focuses on nutrition education activities and a physical activity demonstration to encourage children to increase their consumption of calcium and exercise.

Alyssa, one of our registered dieticians, started the class with a refresher from the last two classes. She asked the students a series of questions about the importance of calcium. For each question correct, the students received a milk mustache sticker. The student with the most mustache stickers by the end of the class got to pick the first prize at the end of class! Alyssa’s group remembered quite a bit about calcium from their last two sessions.

The first class in the series of three focuses on the role of calcium in the body, dairy and non-dairy sources of calcium, such as spinach, broccoli and almonds, the amount of dairy kids need, the role of Vitamin D and the importance of cardiovascular exercise. Special activities for session one include Simon Says using cardio exercises and a C is for Calcium worksheet where children identify foods containing calcium. Session two includes a review and the importance of strength exercises, such as sit-ups, push-ups and more!

Each class concludes with a special calcium-rich treat such as mozzarella cheese sticks, yogurt/yogurt parfaits or chocolate tofu mouse.

Session three’s special snack at Bancroft was a fruit smoothie served in a special Kickin’ it with Calcium cup, which they got to keep!

But before the kids got their special treat, they must be engaged throughout the session. To show the importance of flexibility, Alyssa led the students through a quick stretching and yoga routine. The kids were excited to show off their best tree and warrior poses!

At the end of the class, Alyssa poured the smoothies for each student. At first a few were apprehensive to taste their strawberry yogurt smoothie as first.

“This tastes sour,” said one student.

“I don’t think I’ll like it,” said another.

“You’ll like it,” Alyssa said encouragingly.

After some apprehension, slurping sounds started to fill the room; within minutes the cups were dry, and students were asking for seconds! One student even described the smoothie as “heavenly!”

To learn more about children’s nutrition education programs at the Food Bank of Delaware, please visit http://www.fbd.org/program/snap-education.

Check out some more pictures from Kickin’ it with Calcium at Bancroft!

 

 

 

 

 

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Senior Recipe Club classes offer new ways to prepare food

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Some common perceptions may not be a reality, such as senior citizens know how to prepare healthy, nutritious and economical meals.

Sure, they may have prepared meals for their families, but living with a downsized household and a limited income can create frustrating challenges.

The Food Bank of Delaware launched a Recipe Club, sponsored by the Palmer Home Foundation, to meet the needs of Kent County seniors who want to prepare and enjoy healthy and appealing meals.

In Milford, Asia Thurston, one of our community nutrition educators, offered an entertaining, engaging and educational hour-long class for the half dozen seniors gathered around the conference room table.

This class was the first in a series of four hands-on, nutrition classes hosted by the SNAP-Education department; classes are designed to help participants make healthy food choices on a limited budget.

Since most people use a recipe to prepare, Asia started with the basics: what is a recipe? This class is not just about telling; it’s also about doing with students participating in informal quizzes.

The recipe for the day was individual pizzas cooked in an electric skillet. Asia handed out a whole-grain sandwich round, then students passed around the tomato sauce for the next layer. They were offered a variety of toppings, including turkey pepperoni, green pepper, and pineapple, in addition to the cheese.

The students laughed and joked and exchanged pleasantries while the pizzas cooked. Of course, they enjoyed eating their fresh and healthy pizzas toward the end of class.

As they departed for the day, each student received a box of food that includes fresh produce and bread, in addition to shelf-stable menu items.

Students will complete the four-week program on Feb. 26. In addition to learning food safety and some new recipes, each student goes home with a recipe book and Mobile Pantry food box of non-perishable food.

In addition to the Recipe Club, the Food of Bank of Delaware will also host a two-part free senior cooking class in March at the Food Bank’s Milford site. Chef Tim Hunter will lead the class, and participants will learn to make easy-to-prepare recipes using common, everyday items.

The hour-long classes are at 3 p.m. March 19 and 26. There are still openings for Kent County seniors over age 60. Students must commit to both days.

For more information or to sign up for these senior programs, call Missy Holochwost at (302) 444-8129 or email mholochwost@fbd.org.

 

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Nutrition outreach program targets Military spouses in Dover

IMG_0841By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Many people don’t realize this, but the Food Bank of Delaware’s outreach programs extend beyond handing food to hungry people.

Our mission of alleviating hunger in Delaware also means we offer on-going, hands-on education. The foundation of these classes includes how to make healthy choices when it comes to food. Included in some classes is some basic financial education as well.

These free classes are taught by trained, certified registered dieticians and Community Nutrition Educators who tailor the sessions to meet the needs of the students. For example, the Food Bank offers classes to children in schools and child-care centers, to senior citizens, and also to military moms.

Delaware is home to one of the largest Air Force bases in the country, so a program is offered to military members and their spouses who are assigned to Dover Air Force Base.

Michele Freedman, herself a military mom and a part-time Community Nutrition Educator at the Food Bank of Delaware, recruited prospective students to attend the class, three hours spread over two evenings, at Calvary Assembly of God in Dover, also one of our most active community partners.

The class, Michele explained, is designed so that one evening is considered classroom instruction, and the second evening is dedicated to preparing a recipe which the students select from a cookbook included in the class materials.

During the first session, the class includes two lessons: Choose My Plate and Spend Less Eat Better.

Michele offers plenty of hands-on, interactive instruction about how to make nutritious food choices and how to eat healthy quantities of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy. She also explains how important it is for consumers to read the ingredients on a product label.

“You can’t always tell by the look. Everything on the front of the box is a commercial. Check the back of the box for the ingredients list,” she said.

She also encouraged students to engage in exercise every day.

“Physical activity doesn’t fit on a plate,” Michele said.

Yvonne, whose husband serves in the U.S. Air Force, came to class accompanied by her daughter, Alicia. Both agreed the class was informative and enjoyable.

“I learned a lot,” said Yvonne.

Alicia, a high school freshman, is interested in becoming a chef; she excelled on the interactive quizzes that Michele incorporated into the lessons.

The second half of the class was dedicated to making healthy food choices with a limited budget, so Michele explained that an adult could eat on $6.44 per day by following USDA guidelines.

She encouraged students to shop the perimeter of the store for fruits, vegetables, proteins and dairy products, to purchase store brands, to compare prices, to clip coupons and to plan menus before venturing out to shop.

Michele also offers information about food assistance programs for those who need help, even occasionally.

Students leave with a folder full of information, including lesson summaries and easy-to-remember helpful hints on how to avoid food waste by planning leftover days in the family menu.

The next Military Moms class will be offered Jan. 13 and 15. For more information and registration, please contact Michele Freedman at (302) 424-3301 ext 114 or nutritionist@fbd.org.

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Eat Smart, Live Strong at the Harrington Senior Center

0521_seniors01 (2)By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Enthusiastic students came out for the second class of the Food Bank of Delaware’s Eat Smart, Live Strong program held at the Harrington Senior Center.

The program is designed for seniors. Asia Thurston, Community Nutrition Educator, engages the participants for an hour, offering helpful suggestions on how to set healthy goals and also how to incorporate more fruits, vegetables and 30 minutes of exercise into their daily routine.

Since this is the second class, Asia asked for some feedback. In the first class, she provided participants with a system to track whether they ate one and a half cups of fruit and two cups of vegetables each day. They were also asked to note how much time they were engaged in exercise or activity each day.

“Everybody says they see a difference,” Asia said.

Asia explained that fruits and vegetables offer vitamins, minerals and increased fiber, while exercise improves balance while providing more energy and decreasing stress and anxiety.

“It reduces the risk of falling,” she added.

After the review, Asia addressed some challenges to the both the nutritional and fitness aspects to program. And she also offered solutions.

For example, some seniors may be concerned about the cost of produce. Asia suggested fruits and vegetables could be more affordable at a farmers market or free from their own garden.

She also responded to common objections that people find to exercising, including physical limitations or the cost of join a gym. So she provided some low or no-cost solutions to those stumbling blocks.

And like traditional classes, this one ended with the instructor assigning homework so these students could maintain their commitment to incorporating healthier eating and more activity in their lives.

For more information about programs offered by the Food Bank of Delaware, visit http://www.fbd.org.

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Food Bank of Delaware, Delaware Department of Education release Breakfast First, a statewide school breakfast report

Educators and anti-hunger advocates gathered yesterday afternoon at Highlands Elementary School for the release of the Food Bank of Delaware and Delaware Department of Education’s Breakfast First, a Statewide School Breakfast Report.

The report identifies that only 52.1 percent of Delaware’s children who receive free or reduced-price lunch also participate in school breakfast programs at their school.

In Delaware, children experience food insecurity in more than one in four households. With just more than half of eligible children receiving breakfast at school, tens of thousands of children who could benefit from a healthy start instead reach their school desks with empty stomachs.

“Guided by innovative and compassionate superintendents, principals, teachers, custodians and nutrition staff, schools throughout Delaware are rising to the challenge through a simple, yet effective strategy: moving breakfast into the classroom,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We know that breakfast in the classroom works. Seaford Middle School has increased breakfast participation by 481 percent just by serving breakfast to all in the classroom.”

The Red Clay Consolidated School District has embraced increasing breakfast accessibility by implementing a Grab and Go model where children “grab” their breakfast in the cafeteria and head to class to eat and receive instructional time.

“The reality is some of our children leave school and will not have another meal until they come back the next morning,” said Red Clay Superintendent Mervin Dougherty. “There are too many obstacles for our children today. When our kids don’t have to worry about things we take advantage of, they excel.”

Highlands Elementary Principal Robert Farr shared a story to explain why school nutrition programs are so important, “One day a student was misbehaving. I asked him to come to my office. I sat him and down and asked him, ‘why do you come to school?’ The little boy replied, ‘I come to school to eat. We don’t have any food to eat.’ This reminded me how important it is that our kids have nutritious meals here at school.”

The Delaware Department of Education and the Delaware State Teachers Association support increasing access to school breakfast for children.

“A whole school buy-in leads to success for breakfast,” advised Aimee Beam, Education Associate, School Nutrition Programs for the Delaware Department of Education. “Valid research shows that school meals have a significant impact on student performance. Kids who eat breakfast have higher test scores, decreased visits to the nurse and fewer behavioral issues.”

“Educators may be leery about breakfast in the classroom, but anecdotal evidence shows that it’s virtually mess free and increases instruction time,” said Delaware State Teachers Association President Frederika Jenner. “Breakfast is more than just the most important meal; it’s the gateway to school success.”

The report delves into school and district-level data to highlight success, as well as identifies common barriers and opportunities for improvement. It shares best practices from successful schools, including Wilbur Elementary School in the Colonial School District and Seaford Middle School in the Seaford School District.

Dan Reyes, Coordinator of the Food Bank of Delaware’s Coalition to End Hunger and co-author of the report, encouraged attendees to use the report as an advocacy tool. “Review the report and identify schools where improvement is needed,” he said. “Encourage educators to take the steps needed to make breakfast free and accessible to all children.”

To read the report in its entirety, visit http://www.fbd.org/school-breakfast-challenge/.

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SNAP Education class helps local residents rethink sugar

 ???????????????????????????????By: Natosha Bratcher, Communications Intern

On Tuesday April 15, Wilmington residents at the Career Team Job Training and Vocational Rehabilitation Center located on the Riverfront in downtown Wilmington were educated on the affects of added sugar in their foods. Leah Brown RD, our Community Rethink Your Drink 1Nutritionist, presented a class, “Rethink Your Drink,” that gave attendees a closer look at how the added sugar in their foods and diets, specifically drinks, can affect their overall health.

Leah instructed students on how adding extra, unnecessary sugar into their daily diets through unhealthy drinks like soda, juice and sweetened iced teas can lead to weight gain, diabetes and a multitude of other health problems.

Rethink Your Drink 2Participants were asked to guess how many teaspoons of sugar were in various drinks and many were surprised at the high numbers. They then took part in a demonstration where they poured the teaspoons of sugar into plastic cups so they could visualize the amount. One student said after learning how much sugar was in 20 ounce bottle of soda, “I am never drinking soda again.”

The participants in the class gained a lot of knowledge and had many important takeaways. They learned that sugar should be limited to 10 teaspoons a day for adults and 8 teaspoons a day for children.

Participants discovered that sugar has other names like sucrose, dextrose, lactose, glycerol, xylitol, corn syrup and fructose corn syrup. So when reading the ingredients list, they should look out for those key terms. And if they see those key terms at the top of the ingredients list that means that sugar is a main ingredients, which is not good.

Participants also learned that foods that are low in fat and low in salt are not always healthier, because more sugar is often added to these foods to make them taste better. So participants should avoid those foods.

The class was an eye opening experience for many participants. Many already knew that soda, juice and sweetened ice teas were not good for them!

SNAP-Ed classes are offered multiple times throughout the month at community centers, churches, day care facilities, schools and other similar venues and targets SNAP recipients or SNAP eligible individuals.

For more information on SNAP-Ed classes or to schedule a session please click here.

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