By Natalie Burley
Editor’s note: The following column introduces the newest addition to the county’s WVU Extension Service staff: Natalie Burley, the nutritional outreach instructor.
My name is Natalie Burley and I’m the newest addition to the West Virginia University Extension Service here in Fayette County. I’m a nutrition outreach instructor working with youth in our elementary schools.
This month, I have had the privilege of work with the staff and students of Ansted Elementary School. AES is the newest winner of the OrganWise Guys School kit which teaches nutrition and healthy habits to elementary students. It has been a very rewarding experience.
Our family nutrition program and OrganWise Guys characters have challenged the students to think about their current level of exercise, their snack choices, healthier drink choices, reading food labels and why those “pesky” vegetables and fruits are important. The students begged for copies of recipes we used in our food demonstration. They wanted to make it for their families and were so thrilled to realize they could create something on their own.
So families, start out with simple combinations like a fun fruity dessert. Keep it simple for the first go round. Once their confidence builds, let your child have certain jobs in the kitchen at meal time. Make putting away the groceries an opportunity for learning. With each item, ask if the food is a vegetable, grain, fruit, dairy or protein?
If you would like some quick and easy recipes for children and teens call me at the WVU Extension Office in Fayetteville at 304-574-4253 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. would be happy to share new ideas for kids in the kitchen and recipes that will boost their confidence.