Head Start families eating healthier thanks to joint program

NORWICH – A group of Head Start families are eating healthier, feeling better and saving money after participating in a cooperative program sponsored by Head Start and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

The goal of the hands-on seven week program, called Parents As Cooking Partners, was to teach them how to purchase, cook and prepare healthy meals for their families.

According to Betty Clark, nutrition program coordinator for Cornell Cooperative Extension, the eight parents who participated in the pilot program learned about the benefits of eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy. They also learned about food safety, how to shop more wisely, read labels, budget their household expenses and tried out plenty of new recipes throughout the course.

Their coach through the process was Carol Loefstedt, a nutrition educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension.

The program’s curriculum is part of Eat Smart NY, the federally-funded nutrition program for food stamp and WIC recipients.

“Head Start families are automatically eligible for our program,” explained Clark. It seemed a natural fit for her to partner with her counterpart at that agency, Head Start Nutrition Coordinator Sharon Provo.

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