Eat Smart Champion (ESC)
11 Eat Smart Champions (ESCs) from diverse communities across Kent came together for this train the trainer on Friday, August 26th and Saturday, August 27th. The training prepared these community leaders to go out an engage their respective communities in healthy eating activities throughout the month of September, as well as offer some targeted nutrition training. Each ESC left the training with a toolkit that includes informational handouts and 4 game boards to cover the topics of high sugar content in popular drinks, reading nutrition labels, My Plate food groups and understanding vitamins and minerals.
Healthy Shopping Grocery Store Tour- Food Matters, a program of Solid Ground, came to Kent on Tuesday, August 30th to provide a guided grocery store tour for our Eat Smart Champions! Two trained specialists provided detailed tips on several important topics including: what to look for when comparing brands and types of foods in each section of the store, how to read ingredient lists on food labels, how to mindfully shop for all 5 food groups, and how to compare unit pricing to get the best deal.
Community Forum 1: On Friday, September 9th, the Living Well Kent Community Engagement Team hosted the first of the three community forums, designed to engage the larger Kent Community. We are overwhelmed with the attendance of over 60 community members with their Eat Smart Champion teams! At the forum, attendees learned about Smart Shopping, reading nutrition labels of packaged food products, understanding ingredient lists on food products, and saving money by checking unit costs of groceries. Community member attendees worked in small teams to actively engage with the material they had learned and started to list out healthy food options for themselves and their families. We are grateful to Chipotle, Trader Joes, and Safeway for donating food for the event!
Community Forum 2: On Friday, September 16th, the Living Well Kent Community Engagement Team hosted the second of the three community forums, to engage the larger Kent Community. Kent community members were invited by the Eat Smart Champions, and they learned about Vitamins and Minerals, and how they help our bodies. They actively participated in the individual and group activities to identify vitamins and minerals in food, and designed meal ideas for them to get more key vitamins and minerals into their family’s meals. We are grateful to Ishtaar Iraqi Restaurant, Costco, and Grocery Outlet for donating food for the event!
Community Forum 3: Community Forum 3 on September 23, 2016 was a huge success! We had 126 attendees, greatly surpassing our goal of 100. All 11 Eat Smart Champions brought the 10+ community members that they had trained throughout the course of the project, the Food Policy Council and LWK Steering Committee also attended.
We presented on PSE Change and then conducted a small group simulation for each ESC team to work together to design either a Policy, System or Environmental change that is important to their community. Presenters from each team came to the stage after the simulation to share what they had designed. The evening was filled with very rich ideas and an energy of excitement for PSE Change going in to Year 3 of LWK.
Healthy Eating Activity 2: On Tuesday, September 13th, we had our Healthy Eating activity 2, Cooking for Health with Eat Smart Champions and their invited guest from their communities. Nadia Mahmood, Arabic and Healthy Cooking Instructor, taught the class to make Fattoush Arabic Salad, Timman Bagila (Green rice with fava beans and fresh dill), and Balalit (vermecelli noodle dessert with cardamom and rose water). We also learned how to organize and prepare ingredients ahead of time, for a salad bar spread, so that we have time to put together healthy and nutritious food for our lunch boxes and meals. A fun and delicious time was had by all!
Healthy Eating Activity 3: As our last training of the project, we offered demonstrations on food preservation. This included making quick pickles from a variety of veggies, strawberry freezer jam and two varieties of applesauce. We provided training on why one might want to consider preserving food, the cost effectiveness of buying fruits and vegetables in bulk to preserve, and the time the benefits of having healthy foods ready to eat all year round. The types of food preservation that we taught were pickling, freezing, canning and drying. We included discussion of what types of foods you might want to preserve using each of these styles of food preservation.