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U of I Extension nutrition class graduates 28

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

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A grant from the ConAgra Foundation allowed the University of Idaho Extension service to offer a six class course on nutrition and healthy eating to Spanish-speaking members of the American Falls and Aberdeen communities.

The aim of the classes was to promote healthier food choices and increase class members' food security through University of Idaho Extension's Eat Smart Idaho program.

Class members participated through active dialogue about meal planning, shopping, and nutrition. The classes centered on a new aspect of healthy eating each week through the Eating Smart Being Active curriculum. Students engaged in physical activities during the classes and tasted samples of the featured dishes each week.

The grant also provided childcare for class members' children. The kids got to try new foods each week in the form of a nutritious snack, including a low fat cream cheese dip for their vegetables. The children were not sure at first if they would like the dip, but they were encouraged to try it with an open mind. Parents were encouraged to offer their kids new foods each week.

Class organizers were grateful to Alajandra Delvil-lar, Fabiola Villa, and AJvaro Alvarez for providing child-care during the classes.

The final class meeting was a celebration dinner for students and their families. Participants received graduation certificates and an Eating Smart Being Active cookbook.

Teacher Aleida Saiz said the sense of accomplishment of each student was evident during the final dinner.

"The pride was evident on everyone's faces because they knew they had done a good job. They even dressed up in their 'Sunday best' for the special occasion," said Saiz.

Students from American Falls include: Maria Con-cepcion Martinez, Gregoria Mendoza, Natalia Resendiz, Josefa Chavez, Daniel Ochoa, Nohemi Ochoa, Juan Romero, Felipe Garnica, Maria Marin, Martha NietO, Yudith Contre-ras, Maria DonJuan, Maria Rodriguez, Maria Tapia, Ana Ruiz, Marianita Martinez, Is-ela Ochoa, and Marcos Oro-zco; Students from Aberdeen were Ofelia Villa Real, Maria Olmos, Diana Olmos, Adri-ana Escamilla, Rebeca Trevi-no, Lupe Parra, Maria deJesus Martinez, Blanca Parra, Elena Flores, and Maria Davila.

Elizabeth Garnica assited in developing the classes and finding participants and advocated for the classes. Saiz said she is grateful for the enthusiastic participation by the students and educators as well as the program sponsors.

"Muy bien y gracias ConAgra Foundation," said Saiz.

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Original Publication Date: April 9, 2014

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