Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Senior nutrition fair held in celebration of National Nutrition Month

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, the CAUSES Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health, the Institute of Gerontology, the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Department of Health Education held a Senior Nutrition Fair on March 16, 2016. The fair included cooking demonstrations on healthy eating, using herbs and spices to reduce salt intake, and a variety of other stations and workshops centered on healthy nutrition and ageing. The event was held in Heritage Hall of the new UDC Student Center and included the following nutrition stations.
  • Giant Foods In-Store Nutritionist Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, LDN 
  • Healthy Food Demonstration by Chef Tyrome Henson (CNDH/EFNEP) with Vegetable Marinara & Whole Wheat Noodles and Couscous with Tomato, Chicken & Basil 
  • MyPlate for Seniors with Ana Laura Vasquez-Quino (CNDH/SNAP-Ed) 
  • Healthy Food Demonstration by Chef Herbert Holden (CNDH/SNAP-Ed) 
  • Kale & Quinoa Salad, Sweet Potato & Kale Soup and Mango, Avocado & Black Bean Salad 
  • Savor the Flavor with Herbs and Spices with Helen Naylor (CNDH/SNAP-Ed) 
  • Know Your Sugar with Sandra Contreras (CNDH/SNAP-Ed) 
  • Savor the Flavor using Healthy Fats with Michaele Tompkins-Davis (CNDH/SNAP-Ed) 
  • Food Safety with Paul Brown Jr. (CNDH/SNAP-Ed) 
  • Senior Survey conducted by the Nutrition and Dietetics program 
  • All About CAUSES with Marshelle Hailstock (CAUSES) 
  • College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences 
Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord stated that the Senior Nutrition Fair was designed for seniors in an attempt to reintroduce them to healthful eating using local foods. Many of the foods demonstrated were grown at the CAUSES Firebird Farm and on the UDC green roof.

Participating seniors were tasked with visiting every station in order to receive a complimentary gift bag.

"It was important to have this event in celebration of National Nutrition Month. We wanted to provide seniors with nutrition information and provide them with healthy snacks and food, and help them to understand the importance of eating healthy," explained Claudia John, project specialist, Institute of Gerontology.

This type of event showcases the best of CAUSES--the integration between our academic and landgrant programs. Members of CAUSES and fair participants comment on why this type of event is so beneficial:

Chef Herb Holden, CNDH: The seniors know what they should be doing. And if they aren't, once they taste some of the of samples, they make the connection about eating healthy at their age. I love doing things for senior because it's not true that you can't change minds after a certain age; it's not about reinventing the wheel, but being reintroduced to it."

Loretta, senior participant: "I'm very impressed. The information was thorough and the food was good!"

Roxana Ehsanim Giant nutritionist: "It's great to be able to provide nutrition education materials to seniors. I'm showing a sugar display for a lot of foods people don't realize contain a lot of sugar, like BBQ sauce or oatmeal. My job is to bring awareness to the seniors."

Jessica Guinyard, Health Education major: "The need for nutrition education and the promotion of health and wellness is strongly needed in this community. Participating in these types of events give people outlets and resources to learn how to manage healthy lifestyles. One would think that seniors are stuck in their ways, but they're actually really receptive and want to learn how to use what they have to maintain a healthy lifestyle."

Ayesha Moten and Michelle Jasso, Nutrition and Dietetics majors: "I love working with seniors. They were very helpful and informative even though our survey was eight pages long."

"We plan on surveying the community in Wards 5,7, and 8 and used this event as a trial run. Once the information is collected and barriers to senior nutritional health have been finalized with supporting data, that information will be turned over to the DC Government.

James Lee, Institute of Gerontology: "At this event, seniors get a better understanding about healthy eating. Plus, our senors love giveaways!"

Chef T, CNDH: "We get the opportunity to do outreach to the community and provide them with nutrition education - as well as make new friends! They also appreciate the fact that we supply them with cost-effective recipes."

Paul Brown, CNDH: "The importance of making sure our seniors get vital information they may not read or see on TV. Us being able to talk to them face to face and helping them with their health problems is definitely a good thing, especially when it comes to food safety and teaching them things like cooked food should not be refrigerated more than seven days. Seniors are also pleasantly surprised to learn they can take the food safety certification course for $28 (the cost is normally $147).

Dorothy, senior participant: "I loved today. I do a lot of exercise. I'm 83 and do Tai-Chi and yoga at St. Alban's, so this was the perfect even for me."

"The seniors are happy with this event and are asking to host it again next year; so I'm hoping to make this an annual event for the University of the District of Columbia," said Ms. John. "And I must say thank you to CNDH. They've done a phenomenal job. And thanks to CAUSES for pulling together as a team to make this happen. it was a tremendous event."

For additional information on the Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health, contact Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord at lmonroelord@udc.edu. For more information on the Institute of Gerontology, contact Ms. Claudia John at claudia.john@udc.edu. For more information on the Nutrition and Dietetics degree program, contact Dr. Prema Ganganna at pganganna@udc.edu. Additional photos are available on our Facebook page.

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