Our springtime IN THE COMMUNITY HELPING, or “ITCH”, events have all been completed….
The gumbo has been cooked, money has been raised for Ministry with Community, a few bathrooms and a closet have been painted at Hospital Hospitality House, donations have been organized, and the 3rd grade at Comstock North Elementary School has learned how to make a healthy new snack – a fruit smoothie with bananas, berries, orange juice, and yogurt (recipe attached!). I just wanted to give a big THANK YOU to all of you who volunteered to help our community out, both this spring and last fall. Your time and energy is much appreciated!
I also wanted to take a minute to recognize Heather Christy and Jenn Odza for their creativity in coming up with the Kids in the Kitchen activities for the North Elementary event on Wednesday 3/21, as well as comment on this ITCH event. One lesson they came up with was a Bingo game consisting of clues and words that related to the fruit smoothie ingredients and how they got to us (farmer, cow, seeds, soil, etc.), and the other activity focused on the vitamins and minerals that are in those ingredients, and why those are good for us. It was really interested to see a) how much the kids already knew, and b) how excited they were to help make the fruit smoothies and get the recipe! The next evening was Literacy Night at their school, which gave them an opportunity to come with their parents and share all they had learned during their Nutrition Reading month. The great part about this was that we had the opportunity to share the smoothie samples and recipes with the parents as well as the kids, which was exciting to me, because involving the whole family is key in advocating for improvements in childrens’ health.
During last weeks’ events, as well as the “Fun with Foods and Fitness” ITCH at New Genesis this past November, I have been impressed walking the halls and seeing that the information we are sharing with the children is ALREADY BEING TALKED ABOUT. There were different educational posters in the hallway at New Genesis about the Food Pyramid and portion control, and Thursday night I was reading papers hung up in the halls at North Elementary about “Michigan Fruit Salad”, and what their favorite ingredients were and why they were good for them. So, to sum it up – I am excited for all of the options out there for us, and I think all of the groundwork is already there for us to really get involved and make a difference! My committee is really looking forward to next year and all of the ITCH and programming possibilities out there for us. Thank you for your patience during the “learning phase” of this new issue of reducing childhood obesity, and get ready to get involved!
Co-Chair, Community Programs