Food and Fitness for Families
Welcome back to another year! Whether you are learning from your classroom or learning from home, we are excited to have you back and learning! Gratiot-Isabella RESD School Nutrition Staff have so many awesome things prepared for this year and can’t wait to share it with you over the next couple months.
Gratiot-Isabella RESD has been awarded a grant through the Michigan Fitness Foundation and the USDA to provide nutrition education to students, families and the community. This project has been titled Food and Fitness for Families. So anytime you see or hear this, you know they are talking about this program. Over the course of the school year, your student will be receiving nutrition education lessons facilitated by a trained nutrition educator that will focus on establishing healthy eating habits and increasing physical activity.
If your child has been part of the program in the past, it may look a little different this year. Due to Covid-19, we have made the decision to work remotely with schools for the time being. This could change as the school year progresses. The assigned nutrition educator will video chat with your child’s classroom for 30-40 minutes a month for a virtual nutrition education lesson. We will be working with your child’s school and teacher to make sure that we are abiding by all school protocols and that any student that wants to participate, is able to. Each month, we will be sending home a monthly newsletter that will include program updates and fun recipes and activities for you to try at home.
Our staff is very excited to have the opportunity to work with your child, school, and community!
Eating Well in a SNAP
Farmers Market Food Navigator Program
Farmers markets can increase access to fresh, healthy foods within a community, while supporting local farmers. When farmers market vendors accept food assistance benefits, fresh produce is more affordable and allows low income families to stretch their food dollars while eating a healthy diet.
Farm markets throughout the state have teamed up with Michigan Fitness Foundation to assist with barriers with the help of a food navigator. Lily Byrne is a food navigator that serves the Mt. Pleasant and St. Louis markets. She provides resources and nutrition education at the market, helps shoppers use their dollars more effectively, conducts community outreach, and works with market managers and vendors to increase access.
For more information about the food navigator program visit Lily at the market this year!
Meet the Food and Fitness for Families Staff!
This is Lily's second year as a nutrition educator and spends much of her time working with middle school students and farmers markets. She enjoys seeing the excitement kids get when they get to try new fruits and veggies. She loves eating strawberries and her favorite recipe is the cucumber chickpea salad. She is excited to incorporate fun activities and information into lessons while still being virtual.
Colleen has been a nutrition facilitator with GIRESD for 5 years! Colleen works mostly with older students so she gets to do a lot of cooking. She loves seeing the excitement students have when they taste something new and also get to help prepare. She loves to make watermelon salsa (see her food demo below) and her favorite food is potatoes (any way you can make them!) Colleen is very excited for all the new possibilities this year will bring.
Cathy has been the health consultant at GIRESD for over 14 years! She loves to make fruit desserts which make sense since one of her favorite foods is pineapple. Cathy's favorite thing about the nutrition program is sharing recipes and she is very excited about the program going virtual! Its going to be awesome!
Kelli is the Food and Fitness for Families program manager and has been with GIRESD for 7 years. She enjoys finding healthy, quick, easy recipes to share. She loves making salads because it is a very easy way to get lots of fruits and veggies in. Kelli is excited to continue working with families and community organizations to create a healthy Central Michigan!
Joyce has been working with the GIRESD nutrition programs for over 20 years as an administrative assistant and nutrition educator. Her favorite thing to make is vegetable dishes and her favorite foods are apples and all different kinds of lettuce. Her favorite thing about teaching nutrition is preparing new and exciting lessons and being able to interact with students.
watermelon - 3 cups, seeded and chopped
medium onion - 1/2, chopped
red bell pepper - 1/2, chopped
jalapeño pepper - 1 tablespoon, seeded and chopped
fresh cilantro - 2 tablespoons, chopped
lime juice - 2 tablespoons
vegetable oil - 1 teaspoon
1. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients.
2. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.
Prep Tip: Choose melons that feel heavy for size and sound hollow when tapped on rind.
Change it Up: Scoop fruit into melon balls. Freeze melon balls and enjoy as cold snacks on hot days.
Nutrition Tip: Serve sliced melon with lowfat yogurt or cottage cheese.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.