Summer camp for Pulaski youth focuses on healthy living
Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences Program offered a summer camp for Pulaski youth, ages 7-13, to gain skills to lead healthier lives. This three-day camp was held on July 23, 26 and 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church (Family Life Center) at 135 4th St. in Pulaski.
Kids in the Kitchen, based on the program Healthy Weights for Healthy Kids, helps youth realize that an individual can be healthy at any size through maintaining positive attitudes and behaviors related to food, drink, physical activity, and body image.
One important healthy behavior taught is how to eat balanced and healthy meals. Youth used “MyPlate,” the latest version of the “Food Guide Pyramid” to plan and prepare meals and snacks at each lesson. The MyPlate message is: Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with grains, and a quarter with protein. Lessons included direct instruction, hands-on activities, physical activities and games for participants to discover the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity.
Program leaders for the Pulaski program were Family and Consumer Sciences Senior Extension Agent Sarah Burkett; Virginia Cooperative Extension summer intern Josh Boadwine, Virginia Tech community nutrition students Brittney Chitwood and Amanda Wilkins, Pulaski County High School student Mara Collins and adult volunteer Barbara Roberson.
Community leaders who presented at this program were Andy Hullender of Bank of America, who provided three lessons on money management for youth; Pulaski Fire Marshal Todd Garwood, who provided a lesson on home safety; and Sally Warburton, director of the Pulaski County Library, who gave students a library tour and shared information about resources in the library on nutrition and cooking.
Parents shared behavior changes in their children as a result of this class: They increased physical activity, talked more about healthy foods, are checking food labels for nutrition information to make better food choices, are preparing foods at home, selecting healthy snacks and are excited about doing it. One parent observed: “My child learned the importance of nutrition, got to cook food and learned the importance of cleaning up.”
To learn about future youth and adult nutrition program, contact Burkett at 239-5769 or email@example.com.
– Submitted by Pulaski County Extension Office