Food Banks educates on tasty treats
Jan 18, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Eating healthy may sound boring to a lot of kids, but fruits and vegetables are fun and tasty at the West Texas Food Bank.
The WTFB is kicking off its Nutrition Education Program with a fruit and vegetable taste test party 10 a.m. Saturday at the High Sky Children's Ranch, 9701 W. County Road 60, Midland.
Children between 2 years old to 17 years can have their turn making fresh fruit salads, smoothies and other healthy treats.
By making their own snacks, children can learn and continue to eat better, which is the aim of the Nutrition Education Program, said Julia Hubbard, clinical dietitian at Medical Center Hospital.
"Lifestyle habits are something you begin to learn in early childhood," Hubbard said. "If those are habits you carry with you, you're more likely to indulge in these habits as an adult."
WTFB will collaborate with one community organization a month, alternating between Odessa and Midland, to reach as many kids and parents as possible.
Upcoming events include herbs and gardening, cooking demonstration and a lesson in heart-healthy snacks.
"Programs like this give children and their caregivers an opportunity to know better and to know more," Hubbard said.
Hubbard, a member of the West Texas Dietetic Association and the food bank board, said she wanted a way to serve those who were food insecure and tackle the problems of childhood obesity.
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, around 15 percent of United States households with food insecurity are also at high risk for obesity.
The common correlation between food insecurity and obesity is often due to the cheapest food items often being the unhealthiest.
"We all know the healthiest foods sometimes tend to be the most expensive," WTFB Development Director Rodney Hall said. "You have to get what you can afford. When the last thing you're worried about is how healthy of a meal you're going to eat, the nutritional value doesn't play into it."
By starting the Nutrition Education Program, Hall hopes that the food bank can not only provide food to the food insecure in the community but also teach them about their nutritional needs.
"This will not only show kids they can eat good food, but that it also tastes good," Hall said.
Contact Lyxan Toledanes on twitter @OAcitylife, on Facebook at OA Lyxan Toledanes, or call 432-333-7786.
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