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Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~William James

Your work as an NEA is extremely important. You are teaching good habits and changing lives! But, have you ever been just plain stumped on a topic? You don’t know how to teach it, how to make the lesson interesting, or maybe even how to do it yourself?! Welcome to the blog that can help! Somewhere in the state of Utah is an NEA that is an expert in a topic you may know nothing about. So check out the topics, ask questions, and throw in your advice and success stories! Let’s work together to become Food Sense Experts! :)

This blog is very informal…if you have found something that works for you, fill us all in! Check back each Monday for a new topic of the week or simply review the old ones! If there is a topic you would like to see discussed in the future, send me an email at ange.corry@aggiemail.usu.edu and we will get in on here!

Be Well!

23 Responses to Home

  1. Laurie Bates says:

    http://freemyplate.com/ just wanted to let you know that these free my plate downloads are very fun.

  2. Laurie Bates says:

    I was able to play a fun game with ages 8 and up with the dairy group today with afterschool.
    Go to the link below to get the rules it is for the game jeopardy with dairy. We made a poster with the questions and the points. I would like to be able to play this with the other food groups and I will ask the office to makeup the questions for this and post them. http://www.idph.state.ia.us/IDPHChannelsService/file.ashx?file…D067

  3. Michelle Russell says:

    Thanks for the cute ‘Challenge Accepted’ t-shirt and the umbrella from the monthly challenges! I love them! :-)

  4. Laurie Bates says:

    Some fun games for you to try, I have played with the K-2 classes;
    One person is chosen to be “IT”. The group stands in a circle. The person who is “IT” stands in the center, points to anyone in the circle, and names a food group (bread, fruit, vegetable, meat, milk). The person picked must name a food in that group within three seconds. If he or she cannot name a group, they sit down. As the games continues, the person who is “IT” must keep moving quickly around the circle. Children should take turns being “IT.”

    For older kids 1-3 grades: Tape a picture of a food item on the back of a child. He/she should not see what the food item is. The child turns around and shows the other children the picture. The child then has to ask questions of the group until he/she can guess what food is on his/her back.

  5. Laurie Bates says:

    Diana Rogers You bet as soon as I get my new list from Heidi and we get this done for the next month, I will send it your way. H
    ave a super day!

  6. Laurie Bates says:

    I had a youth lesson today on sweet potatoes. We did the taste test with the sweet potatoes or yams made with different ingredients, like brown sugar, lime juice, salt, and butter. Each of the kids tasted each and voted for their favorite one. I was surprised by the salt and butter sweet potato being the winner. I also did the guess the picture under the questions. They pick a number and then we ask them the question on the other side. If they answer it, they got that piece off the picture. They keep going until they guess the picture. We did this first thing before we did anything, so they would not figure it out just by knowing what we were studying. Then after we made the sweet potato wraps (very yummy). I asked them the questions again and if they raised their hands I tossed an eyeball ping pong at them that they get to keep. It’s almost Halloween, so this was a good, fun way to get them involved with the questions. It was a fun day with Food $ense today!

  7. Laurie Bates says:

    I so enjoyed conference, my favorite part is the sharing and getting to know everyone. I too did love the presentation by Ginette Bott of the Utah Food bank. It was awesome listening to all thing things they do. Diana Rogers, so glad you did the 5 k too, I was so proud of us all. I would also like to thank everyone that helped to get the conference together and presented. I loved the theme, great idea. I want those who did not bring rocks home to know, you missed out. my rock holder, looks so cute, on my bookcase and my rock tower is beautiful next to my photos of family. For those that did not get to hear the sharing in our one group, I thought I would mention that I use the X-nut list (snap participants) to invite people to classes but, as of now I am sending every month a post card of my main class with information about our program to them. If you would like one to be sent to you for an example, let me know.

    • Diana Rogers says:

      Thanks for your comments, Laurie. I would like to get one of your cards. If you will email me, I will give you my mailing address. diana.rogers@usu.edu.

      P.S. I wonder if they could structure the posting on this blog so that the most recent comments are at the top? It doesn’t make lots of sense to have to scroll through all the old posts to see “what’s new.”

    • Linda says:

      Laurie, please send an example of your post card. I have not received a response- ever- from sending mailings to the list. Perhaps yours looks more useful and promising.
      I’m willing to keep trying. linda.patterson@aggiemail.usu.edu

  8. Diana Rogers says:

    I wanted to blog and just say “Thanks,” and give kudos to our State leaders and board for a wonderful conference. I’m a new NEA, and this was my very first experience. Wow! Conference was so informative and fun! I got answers to several specific questions and learned so many new ideas for teaching and implementing the Food Sense Program. For instance, I now know what to do if I have a client that is eligible for SNAP benefits. Also, I got great ideas for helping the patrons of our Food Bank.

    Most of all, I feel I have a better overview of the whole Food Sense Program – sort of the “big picture.” I am amazed at what NEA’s are doing all over the state and the difference they are making in human lives. I can see how adaptable and flexible our program is, and how we can make it fit for so many situations, locations and individuals. Before, I thought my goal was to teach the complete lesson to as many people as possible. Now, I see how even small parts of lessons can make inroads and change behavior, and helping the individual is paramount.

    One of my favorite sessions was the presentation by Ginette Bott of the Utah Food Bank. I will never think of the Food Bank or it’s patrons the same. It was an eye-opening event for me.

    I have to say, I didn’t intend to do the 5K when I came to conference, but because of the encouragement and support… I did it! I mostly walked, but got some jogging in too. I haven’t gone more than about 2-2.5 miles on a walk for many, many years, so it was a challenge! I’m 62 years old, but now I feel empowered! I want to do it again! I even finished in 52 min 29 sec.! So I’m giving myself a high-five!

    Again, I was so impressed at conference at all the hard work that went into it. The theme was so cute and carried out to the “nines,” or should I say, “to the pebbles!” I appreciated the gifts, doorprizes, fun food facts and brain teasers. The food was fantastic and the accomodations were great. I think Heidi and all her staff truly ROCK! I hope you all get a deserved rest!

  9. Laurie Bates says:

    Good morning everyone,
    I wanted to comment on the youth lessons as well. I have loved the viva vegetable lessons with the lessons on senses, taste and growing. I recently did Legumes and we had the blindfold taste test with the different legumes and it was so fun to see the kids try to guess the different ones. They also described what that legume reminded them of which was fun to hear all the words that they came up with. I also have done the Food Sense basic lessons in the schools, like breakfast. I call the manager of the cafeteria and ask who delivers their milk and I call them ahead of time to see if they can help out with the milk for the lesson. They have been good to do this. That gives us half pints of chocolate or white milk for the kids to drink during the lesson. You could watch a how eggs get to the store, DVD and go over a short lesson on importance of breakfast. Each child then takes an 11X7 sheet of paper to draw a picture of their family eating breakfast or the foods they ate that morning etc. for their class breakfast book. I made a front cover for this with Rise and Shine for Breakfast on the top, pictures, and the teacher’s name on it, and then just use a round ring to hold them all together. Hope this helps!

  10. Laurie Bates says:

    Janice,
    I have also had some problems with seniors filling out of the forms. So I do not push the matter with them. I do however, have a sign up sheet to sign, as I greet them. So go early, before they arrive. On this sign up shee I have them put their birthday down month and date, just in case they do not fill a class particpant form out ( which happens alot). That way I can fill one out with that information and no comments etc. on the back. At least you get credit for teaching them. Another way I have had some success, is to give a cookbook or what ever you have to give away, for a filled out form.
    Laurie Bates

    • Janice Foster says:

      Thanks for your help Laurie. You always have such great ideas!

    • Laurie Bates says:

      I forgot one thing make sure to keep the list in a locked drawer and then shred when your done with it.

    • Penny Ramey says:

      Those are also great ideas. Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones. For some reason I tend to over think things and make them more complicated than they need to be.

  11. Shirley Zane says:

    This is going to be really helpful. Thanks for starting it. Shirley Zane

  12. Janice Foster says:

    Thanks for this forum. I think this will be very useful. I do have a question for any NEA out there that has taught at senior citizen centers. I did a little demonstration and lesson a few weeks back at our sr center. It didn’t go very well because the seniors were very unwilling to fill out the class participation forms. I had a lot of complaints about too much paperwork for a little short lesson. Has anyone else run into this problem in their county or have you had success with your seniors. Maybe I am just doing it at the wrong time. I taught them right before their meal while they were eating their salads. Thanks for your help
    Janice Foster
    NEA Beaver County

    • Penny Ramey says:

      Janice,
      Seniors can be a challenge to work with especially if you get someone who likes to complain. I teach a lot of senior classes in Salt Lake County and I deal with those pesky participant forms a few different ways.
      I explain the purpose of the form: i.e.: To prove to my boss that I did actually teach a class and didn’t just go out to lunch with my friends. ;-)
      I don’t have them fill in the little bubbles on the front; they are confusing for many people and hard to see if you have poor vision. If you can, use large pens that are easier to hold.
      The first time they get the form I go through it with them line by line and explain what to write. People don’t read directions. I’ve had them tell me how hard it is to spell out their name by filling in all the bubbles.
      As a group seniors are reluctant to admit if they are using food stamps and often don’t apply even if they are eligible. That can be a touchy subject. I usually get a feel for the objection and then try to counter it.
      I have had very few people refuse to fill out the form, I tell them that it is their choice but also remind them that it is completely anonymous and I won’t get credit for teaching them if they don’t.
      It is tough to teach while people are eating. Their attention will be divided and food usually wins.
      I enjoy working with seniors and have a couple of public housing units that I go to every month.
      Hope some of this helps, keep your sense of humor and people will respond.

    • Michelle Russell says:

      Another tip with seniors (or anyone else for that matter) is to make sure you explain that these forms are how we show that we are teaching people and having an impact on their lives and that is what allows us to receive the grant money and keep the classes free!

  13. Mary Anna Henke says:

    Debbie recently sent an email to mail from a fellow NEA who needed some ideas of what curriculum to use when teaching in the Elementary schools. This was my reply to her and maybe some of the other NEA may want ideas. “I love to use Food, Fun and Reading and Professor Popcorn curriculum in the schools. I prefer using the Food, Fun and Reading curriculum with the preschool (Head Start), Kindergarten, and 1st Grade students and then I go to Professor Popcorn for the 2nd through 4th graders. In professor Popcorn I have had to change the curriculum from My Pyramid to Chooses My Plate. There are a lot of picture with Professor Popcorn and the 3rd grade has a food and activity journal handout to fill out. I have laminated and placed the pictures on cardstock so that they last a long time. I mostly stick to the lesson outline as I teach, but sometime use the food pictures from the recharge curriculum. I also send a handout home with recipe ideas and a letter to the parents. Food Fun and Reading also has a letter to the parents and recipes to go along with it. Like you, I try to get the youth excited about eating healthy and we also make a recipe in the class or have something the youth can taste. When I teach the grain lesson from food fun and reading, I demonstrate how to make the trail mix (leaving out the nuts due to food allergies). When I teach fruit and vegetables, we make a fruit kabob. When I teach the Milk group, we have a cheese tasting. When I teach Meat & Bean or Protein, we make the ham and cheese wrap. When I teach breakfast we make the rice cake faces. I do not use peanut butter for the spread as the Elementary schools in my area are peanut free. Sometime I use Vegetables to make the face and other times I use fruit. The spread could be cottage cheese or refried beans. For Professor Popcorn, I have a Choose My Plate sample (whole wheat cracker, orange slice, baby carrot, small piece of jerky, small cube of cheese) the youth need to identify what food group they belong to as they eat them. For Grains, they have some air popped popcorn that has not been seasoned, then I give them a choice of different seasoning to season their popcorn with that does not include salt, sugar, or butter. Such as: Italian Seasoning, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, cinnamon, dill. Vegetables I make the green swamp dip with veggie tray, Fruit = Fruit Kabobs Milk = Cheese and Crackers, Meat and Bean = Black Bean and Corn Salsa. In my area, the teacher generally like me to take about 30 to 40 minutes per lesson and I teach 5 times in each classroom. I find that I really have to hurry along to get everything in. Also, don’t forget to have the youth fill out the pre/post Evaluation or survey. Sometimes I like to get the youth to stand up while teaching to get their wiggles out so I may ask a question. For example when making the trail mix. I will ask the youth to stand up if the ingredients are whole grains and I teach them how to find out if it is or not. I will read the food label to them.”

  14. Can’t wait to hear from everyone. We have some awesome NEAs and Agents!

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