The WSU Grays Harbor SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education Program
Nutrition Educators provides hands-on lessons for youth and adults with limited resources who are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Qualified groups and classrooms participate in activities that help establish healthy eating habits, develop basic food preparation and selection skills that include food safety, label reading, and meal planning. Class participants prepare tasty and nutritious foods made with staples and low cost ingredients while learning ways to stretch their food dollars.
To learn more and get tips and ideas, check out the
Grow Happy Kids web site.
Facts about the Food $ense Program in Grays Harbor County:
- Our program started in 1992 with funding from USDA-Food and Nutrition Service based on local cost-share and in-kind match to support the program.
- The program includes hands-on activities, food preparation and tasting nutritious, healthy recipes that can be replicated at home.
- The program emphasizes the recommendations found in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate including: make half your grains whole, eat more fruits and vegetables, choose lean protein and dairy foods, and limit fat, sugar and salt.
- Program participants are encouraged to balance intake with activity level to maintain a healthy weight.
- In 2015, after completing classes, 31% improved their knowledge of recommended servings and serving sizes, 32% improved on eating a healthy breakfast and 47% used MyPlate information to select healthy snacks.
- Teachers were given program evaluations and 100% responded. Teachers have adopted healthier behaviors: 95% reported talking about or modeling healthy behaviors, while 75% adopted one or more of the nutrition practices discussed in class such as eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, drinking less soda, choosing healthy meals and snacks, watching serving sizes, and eating breakfast, including smoothies.
- Teachers also observed student behavior change. Students were more willing to try new foods, including those provided by the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program and made healthier meal and snack choices.
- Parent newsletter evaluations were sent home with kindergarten through fifth grade curricula. Responses from parent newsletter surveys were encouraging. Of the 420 parents who responded: 67% buy healthy snacks more often; 74% eat more fruits and vegetables; 52% increased the amount of physical activity; 67% are more aware of portion sizes; 57% read nutrition labels more often; 51% changed some food preparations to lower fat, sugar and salt intake.
- Program partners for 2015 included: Grays Harbor County, Aberdeen School District, Elma School District, North Beach School District, Oakville School District, Ocosta School District, Satsop School District, the Housing Authority of Grays Harbor County, the Aberdeen DSHS Community Service Office.