nutrition

Focus on Nutritious Low-Cost Foods

It’s #ThoughtfulThursday! Cook more, eat out less! Here are three tips to help you and your family eat right on a budget. Tag a friend who needs to hear👂 this!
 
¡Cocine más en casa, coma menos en restaurantes! Aquí presentamos tres consejos que le ayudarán a usted y a su familia a comer bien dentro de un presupuesto. ¡Etiqueta a un amigo que necesite escuchar esto!
 

graphic of shopping bag calculator and produce with black text on a blue backgroundgraphic of shopping bag calculator and produce with black text on a blue background

Holiday Giving With Fairfield County Community Nutrition

Canned Foods Fill MyPlate' materials

can openers in bags with my plate handoutsThe Fairfield County Community Nutrition team assembled and delivered a can opener and  ‘Canned Foods Fill MyPlate’ materials to the Jericho Food Pantry in Danbury. Seventy-five of Danbury’s most in need residents will receive the gift bags in time for the holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

Juliana Restrepo-Marin

 

 

Respecting Our Roots with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

A partnership between UConn and local tribes led to the development of Meechooôk Farm and other programs that strengthen the tribal community, their land-base, and self-sufficiency. Learn more about the project by reading this article.

Financial support for this work was provided by the USDA NIFA Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP Awards 2017-41580-26950 and 2022-41580-37944).

 

Nutrition Education in Action

group of people under a tent outdoorsExtension is out and about – and you may run into us at a local event. Our nutrition educators were at two events on Saturday, September 17th.
 
First, the public learned how “Healthy Eating can Boost Your Immune System” through two on-site classes and cooking demonstrations at the Danbury Farmers’ Market. Participants learned how to prepare fiesta rice salad with local farm fresh ingredients. This program reached 64 people. Assistant Extension Educator, Heather Peracchio. Fairfield County Program Aide, Juliana Restrepo-Marin and Nuvance Health Dietetic Intern Jillian Stickles.
 
Then, in the afternoon, UConn Extension participated in the Second Annual Hispanic Heritage Festival sharing bilingual nutrition tips for families. We reached over 75 participants.

ConnCAP and SNAP-Ed/EFNEP

Riley holding a MyPlate in front of a white board with nutrition tips

Article by Riley Courtney

In July, Heather Peracchio, RDN and summer Extension intern Riley Courtney visited UConn’s Stamford campus for the purpose of providing nutrition and healthy eating education to teen members of the ConnCAP program. To start off, the two instructed the group on some principals of nutrition using the USDA’s MyPlate as a centerpiece. From there, they covered budget friendly tips on choosing the least expensive, healthiest options when perusing the aisle to spicing up typical college dorm go to’s with extra nutrition. Teens used photos of common foods to come up with healthy meal combinations that included more fruits and vegetables. As a culmination of this effort, a brief cooking demonstration and tasting was offered featuring a quick and easy yogurt parfait recipe including whole grain oat cereal, fresh and frozen fruits, and fat-free vanilla yogurt. All in all, the SNAP-Ed team had the class covered.

Comments on the Workshop:

  • Most Useful
    • Eating better on a budget handout
    • Getting more creative with leftovers
    • Being more creative with food
    • Combining unhealthy with healthy foods
    • Meal planning and budgeting tips
    • Eating fruits and veggies in season
    • Using food photo cards to create a nutritious meal
  • Tips to Use Going Forward
    • Knowing what foods mix well with others
    • Being more creative
    • To meal plan
    • To eat more fruits/veggies
    • Try new foods
    • How to save money
    • Compare and contrast technique
    • Looking at the unit prices of foods
  • Helpful Info for Future Workshops
    • Working out and more info about nutrients
    • Making new foods, food/cooking demos
    • Making foods already eating healthier

What is SNAP-Ed? Intern Jenna Zydanowicz Explains

My name is Jenna Zydanowicz, I am a rising junior, and an Allied Health Science major. I have a passion for nutrition, engaging with the community, and trying to promote healthy lifestyles. I love being able to educate families, children, and adults on the importance of nutrition and still eating well on a low income budget. I am an intern for UConn School and Family, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program- Education Program (SNAP-Ed). The purpose of the SNAP-Ed program is to assess, develop, implement, and evaluate tailored direct nutrition education to SNAP recipients at multiple diverse sites in numerous Connecticut towns. We provide fact-based and tailored online information to support healthy eating and physical activity. A few of our direct education reaches parents of young toddlers, preschoolers, and parents with children ages 5 to 18. We also reach adults, senior centers, food pantries and mobile food distribution to provide recipes and information related to healthy eating for those in need. We facilitate access to affordable healthy foods by partnering with experts at UConn and in the community. We use multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach target audiences and provide easy access to nutrition information. We provide many different types of nutrition related resources such as recipes, handouts, food samples, and access to our Healthy Family CT website. A few goals the SNAP- Ed program have are to increase the target audience’s knowledge and skill to achieve healthier diet and access local and affordable healthy food, improve their willingness to consume a healthier diet while encouraging an increase in physical activities, and increase their diet quality.

Website: https://healthyfamilyct.cahnr.uconn.edu/

Nutrition Education in the Community Through SNAP-Ed

intern-BrookeHello everyone! My name is Brooke Bosco, and I am a rising senior majoring in Dietetics. This summer I am an extension intern working with the UConn School and Family Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education Program (SNAP-Ed). UConn Healthy Family CT SNAP-Ed works towards accomplishing Connecticut’s goals and objectives to deliver nutrition education and physical activity messages to SNAP-Ed recipients and those who are eligible. We focus on delivering fact-based, tailored nutrition education to our target population of income-challenged adults, families, and children who may be experiencing food insecurity. We reach these groups in different towns including East Hartford, New Britain, Manchester, Willimantic, Enfield, and Hartford.

Part of my work is delivering direct and indirect nutrition education in different areas of the community, including elementary schools, senior centers, public libraries, community events, food pantries, and Foodshare mobile. I am also working with other SNAP-Ed team members to enhance the material on Healthy Family CT’s website and social media accounts, which also focuses on reaching our target audience with nutrition education. We hope that our education increases our audience’s knowledge and skills to achieve healthier diets and access local and affordable healthy food. We also hope that it improves their willingness to consume a healthier diet and increase physical activity.

I developed an interest in community nutrition during my supervised practice training this past spring semester. Nutrition education is so important in low-income communities because it helps to prevent nutrition-related health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. These health issues can create even more hardship and financial burden for this community. It has been an amazing opportunity to be a part of this effort! I encourage you to check out UConn Healthy Family CT’s website (healthyfamilyct.cahnr.uconn.edu) and social media accounts with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

Infant Formula Shortage

Infant Formula Shortage – y en Espanol

infant formula shortage infographicHave you or someone you know been impacted by the infant formula supply shortage?  You may be wondering how this happened and what to do about it. In February 2022, Abbott Laboratory, an infant formula company, recalled several of its formulas due to complaints about infants affected after formula consumption. In addition, there was bacteria found in part of their building that did not produce the formula.  Abbott voluntarily recalled those formulas. The formula recall plus the pandemic related food supply shortage has resulted in a nationwide shortage. There are some important steps to keep in mind so that all babies have enough and safe sources of needed formula and or breastmilk. Breastfeeding is always healthier for a baby’s nutrition and immune system, but some moms are not able to breastfeed or may not produce enough breast milk. Get advice from your doctor and nutritionist/dietitian. If you receive W.I.C. (Women, Infants and Children) Program benefits, you can talk with the program nutritionists about getting help with breastfeed techniques if you are breastfeeding or receiving formula sources that your baby needs.

     Do

     Don’t

Do choose a safe infant formula. Don’t make homemade formula.
Do follow formula directions to prepare properly and safely, Don’t give watered down formula.
Do follow your doctor and nutritionist advice for formula. Don’t give your baby cow’s milk, toddler milk or milk substitutes (unless told by your doctor).
Do find safe places to buy or get safe donations. Don’t buy formula from unknown online sites or  from outside the United States.
If you do need breastmilk, find safe breast milk banks, Don’t accept breast milk donations from unknown sources.

Remember to wash your hands before preparing formula and to store formula or breastmilk properly.    Find Infant Formula   CT WIC updates   CT Formula Temporary Substitution List

*The Federal Government has now started emergency production as well as locating formula that meets FDA standards as well as locating formula sources from oversees  that meet FDA safety standards. 

Sources: https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/abbott-voluntarily-recalls-powder-formulas-manufactured-one-plant  ; https://www.fns.usda.gov/ofs/infant-formula-safety; https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/InfantandToddlerNutrition/formula-feeding/choosing-an-infant-formula.html

Written and Compiled by

Umekia R. Taylor, MS, RDN, CDN, Heather Peracchio, MS, RDN, CDN, Sherry Gray, MPH, RD, Michael J. Puglisi, Ph.D., R.D. 

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

05/2022 


Escasez de Fórmula Infantil

infant formula shortage infographic¿Usted o alguien que conoce se ha visto afectado por la escasez de fórmula infantil? Quizás se pregunte cómo sucedió esto y qué hacer al respecto. En febrero de 2022, Abbott Laboratory, una empresa de fórmulas para bebés retiró del mercado varias de sus fórmulas debido a quejas sobre bebés afectados después de su consumo. Además, se encontraron bacterias en partes de su edificio que no produjeron la fórmula. Abbott retiró voluntariamente esas fórmulas. El retiro del mercado de la fórmula, más la escasez de alimentos relacionada con la pandemia ha resultado en una escasez a nivel nacional. Hay algunos pasos importantes a tener en cuenta para que todos los bebés tengan fuentes suficientes y seguras de fórmula o leche materna necesarias. La lactancia materna siempre será más saludable para la nutrición y el sistema inmunitario del bebé, pero algunas mamás no pueden amamantar o es posible que no produzcan suficiente leche materna. Obtenga el consejo de su médico y nutricionista/dietista. Si recibe beneficios del programa W.I.C. (Mujeres, Bebés y Niños), puede hablar con los nutricionistas del programa sobre cómo obtener ayuda con las técnicas de lactancia si está amamantando o recibiendo suministros de fórmula que necesita su bebé.

Qué Hacer

Que No Hacer

Elija una fórmula infantil segura. No haga fórmula casera.
Siga las instrucciones de la fórmula para prepararla de manera adecuada y segura. No le dé fórmula aguada a su bebé.
Siga los consejos de su médico y nutricionista para la fórmula. No le dé a su bebé leche de vaca, leche para niños pequeños o sustitutos de la leche (a menos que se lo indique su médico)
Busque lugares de confianza para comprar u obtener donaciones seguras. No compre fórmula en sitios de internet desconocidos o fuera de los Estados Unidos.
Si necesita leche materna, busque bancos de leche materna seguros. No acepte donaciones de leche materna de fuentes desconocidas.

Recuerde lavarse las manos antes de preparar la fórmula y almacenar adecuadamente la fórmula o la leche materna.  Find Infant Formula   CT WIC updates   CT Formula Temporary Substitution List

Fuentes:https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/abbott-voluntarily-recalls-powder-formulas-manufactured-one-plant  ; https://www.fns.usda.gov/ofs/infant-formula-safety; https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/InfantandToddlerNutrition/formula-feeding/choosing-an-infant-formula.html

Escrito y compilado por:

Umekia R. Taylor, MS, RDN, CDN, Heather Peracchio, MS, RDN, CDN, Sherry Gray, MPH, RD, Michael J. Puglisi, Ph.D., R.D. 

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

05/2022 

Umekia “Mickey” Taylor: Educator Spotlight

Merging Fitness and Nutrition to Create Healthy Lifestyles 

Umekia TaylorUmekia “Mickey” Taylor ’83 (CAHNR) merges fitness and nutrition to help people create healthy lifestyles. She is a community nutrition extension educator and the supervisor for Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) in New Haven County. “UConn Extension’s nutrition outreach education is valuable because we meet people where they are. Then, we bring them to whatever level they want to go to,” Mickey says. “We’re here to serve the people of Connecticut and bring value to their lives.”

Growing up in Meriden, she always had an interest in food and experimented with recipes in her family’s kitchen. She wanted a health-related career that included food and education. Taylor found a brochure in her high school guidance department about the Allied Health Sciences dietetics program at UConn. She had not heard about it this career, but it intrigued her. 

Seniors in UConn’s dietetics program complete different practicums. Taylor gravitated towards the community nutrition practicum. She went on to earn her master of science degree in human performance from Southern Connecticut State University. “I wanted to incorporate fitness as a thread in my career,” she says. “Fitness is practical choices too. Parking farther away from your destination and walking makes a significant difference. Speed walking while running errands, all these small actions add up.” 

Her first role was the nutritionist with the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program in New Haven. Taylor is bilingual and immersed in the Spanish language as she worked with the program participants. She began her career with UConn Extension in 1993.    

“In working with EFNEP, there’s a lot of linkages we make with other fields in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources and throughout UConn,” Taylor says. “I had close relationships with the UConn 4-H program through Wanda Little, who is a retired UConn 4-H educator and was my mentor. I’ve kept that model in my programming.”  

Taylor works with collaborative teams at UConn. One of these is the People Active on Trails for Health and Sustainability (PATHS) team. The team uses trails and exercise to improve health outcomes in residents statewide. Extension educators are not islands, and she emphasizes the benefits of different expertise. 

The rewards of being an Extension educator are when participants are engaged and learning – that is when you can make an impact. Taylor and the EFNEP teamwork with people over time. They start slight changes with them that have positive impacts on their health. 

“Nutrition involves balance and variety is important,” she says. “You don’t need to go to one extreme or another. We all have cravings, and it is okay to have a treat occasionally, and then get back to healthy eating. A diet should be a well-balanced approach and fun.” 

New discoveries and recommendations challenge nutrition and health educators. All science-based educators face this same challenge. This causes mistrust or negative public perceptions. Taylor follows the research and educates her audiences as the science changes. She addresses those misconceptions because people are looking for accurate information.

Taylor’s recent focus is on social media, online education, and training community leaders. “I love the model where we work with teens and then they teach nutrition education in their communities,” she says. Taylor had a USDA-AFRI grant to build this model and is pursuing another grant for further work in the field. Other 4-H and nutrition programs replicated her project.

The past few years have also highlighted the racial inequities that still exist. Taylor participated in UConn’s Anti-Black Racism Course. She connected to the topics and concepts as an African American woman whose parents are from South Carolina. She found the course enlightening, and timely in the wake of violence, hate crimes and injustice against black and brown people. She continues engaging in topical discussions with the Extension Anti-Racism Learning Group.  

Taylor’s community nutrition and fitness programs improve the lives of Connecticut residents. Her work is representative of the land-grant mission as she engages audiences with UConn’s research and teaching. Taylor brings enthusiasm and creativity to community nutrition and established models that are enhancing the lives of residents across the nation.  

Article by Stacey Stearns