A food and nutrition team led by Dr. Linda Knol trained Alabama daycare personnel on innovative ways to put delicious and healthy meals on the table at their workplaces. The “Cooking for Kids” training program was sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama. Participates made some delicious dishes that were packed with flavor and lots of fresh wholesome ingredients. After preparing meals, everyone enjoyed sampling their work. Another example of CHES faculty and students hard at work this summer – improving lives.
Because getting young children to eat the right kinds of food can be challenging, the Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management is working with Community Services of West Alabama to help ensure that preschool children eat the healthy meals offered in the Head Start Program. Dr. Linda Knol, associate professor in the Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management, recently conducted a two day training for day care foodservice providers using a culinary nutrition program purposed for those working in a preschool setting. The goal of this training was to equip these workers with improved culinary skills and the nutritional knowledge needed to make healthy meals that young children will enjoy.
The program teaches foodservice personnel how to alter recipes to increase the use of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lower fat milks while decreasing saturated fat and sodium. They also learn ways to make the food more appealing and palatable to children. The program offers suggestions based on the Smarter Lunchrooms Initiative, which uses behavioral economics research to improve children’s food and beverage choices. Lastly, the program offers mindful eating strategies using principles from the successful Home Sweet Home Childhood Obesity Prevention Program,which was tested with families of Alabama children attending Head Start.
The project was sponsored with generous funding by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.