Everyone wants to be a Food Hero at Jason Lee School

Principal Isaac Cardona and OSU educator Thanh Huynh pass out salad samples during lunch at Jason Lee School.   
"I cannot believe that there are lots of vegetables in this! It just tastes so good!"

River Lonnquist is a student at Jason Lee K - 8 School in Portland, where students participate in nutrition classes to learn how to make healthy choices and cook healthy, simple meals. River especially enjoyed the Asian Carrot Salad they got to taste in the lunchroom recently. 

"They're always asking me, "What do we get to try today?'" Principal Isaac Cardona said as he invited students to the tasting table in the school lunchroom. "The students get excited when they see the tasting table set up.  We really appreciate that they get to try out fun new recipes, take them home and share them with their families. I see students who try a Food Hero recipe be more willing to try a vegetable or fruit on our salad bar." 

Oregon State University Extension collaborates with Portland public schools to offer students recipe tastings in the cafeteria. OSU nutrition educator, Thanh Huynh prepares recipes at lunch and encourages students to be a Food Hero by using their senses to "try" a new food. "Looking at it, touching it or smelling it are all ways you
Jason Lee students prepare a Food Hero recipe.

can be a Food Hero," Huynh urges reluctant students. "Mr. Cardona is a Food Hero! He tries all the recipes and is a great role model!"

Huynh also leads Jason Lee students in fun classroom games and activities that teach students about fruits and vegetables. Students also help Huynh cook a simple meal or prepare a healthy snack through the Kids in the Kitchen and Growing Healthy Kids curriculum.  Huynh brings ingredients each week and helps the children build skills to make a recipe. Jason Lee has a school garden, and last summer students grew and harvested ingredients that were used in the recipes they prepared. "Students like to try foods they have planted, watered and nurtured to ripeness," explained Huynh. 

Taking on responsibilities in the garden and kitchen engages students, and they are much more likely to take an interest in food choices. OSU Extension offers similar programs at sixteen Portland schools.  
My Hair, My Health PDX!

My Hair My Health (PDX)! is a health-promotion program that encourages African American women to celebrate beauty from the inside out.  Oregon's inaugural
My Hair My Health PDX! event took place Sunday, November 12th  from 1:30-6:00 pm at the Matt Dishman Community Center in Northeast Portland.

The Portland event aimed to empower participants by offering tools and resources to: (1) promote healthy behaviors, such as increased fruit and vegetable consumption and regular physical activity; (2) boost knowledge and skills to overcome barriers to healthy behaviors; (3) improve self-image and self-acceptance; and (4) heal body, mind and soul.

My Hair My Health PDX! was adapted from the  My Hair, My Health program developed by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health in California to address health issues common to African American women. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 80% of American women are overweight or obese as a result of various factors, including lower than recommended physical activity levels and fruit and vegetable consumption (2015). Hair salon visits represent a significant investment of time and money for many African American women, and "sweating out" a hairstyle while exercising-because it shortens the number of days a hairstyle can be worn-is a barrier to physical activity.

The Portland  My Hair My Health PDX! event offered women with various hair types and styles information about hair-maintenance routines that could fit a physically active lifestyle.  Additionally, participants enjoyed wellness workshops, physical activity breaks, USDA healthy recipe samples (including Black Beans with Plantains and Gingered Carrots ) and Food Hero flavored water samples. Toward the end of the event, a film screening of the documentary  My Nappy Roots sparked a lively discussion between panelists and participants.
My Hair My Health PDX!  was made possible by state agency partners: Oregon Health Authority, OSU Extension Service (FCH) SNAP-Ed Program, and the Child Nutrition Program of the Oregon Department of Education.  USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, through the Child Nutrition Program and SNAP-Ed, provided partial funding. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

For a hearty weeknight meal, try this turkey pumpkin chili from Food Hero. This healthy recipe is not only loaded with protein and vegetables, it's also delicious. 
Save the date for another "Grow Together with Your Pet" event. 
Explore new ways to interact with your pet and encourage a stronger human-animal bond. Become a certified 4-H Pet Ambassador while you're at it! 
Jazzy (pictured above) is a Washington County 4-H member who set up a display table at a local middle school to demonstrate how to make dog toys. 
"I liked learning about and being with the animals," Jazzy said. "I liked when the 4-h gal came with her dog and showed how to teach your dog to do some tricks. I enjoyed the Cat presentation about Cat body language."
OSU's Dr. Kristen and other 4-H experts will help you and your pet thrive together. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at Alpenrose Dairy. All youth ages 9 to 16 are welcome. $20 registration fee, includes lunch.  Register  today! 
This month's emergency preparedness topic is emergency kits, which can help bridge the immediate need until normalcy is restored. Learn about the suggested essentials and more. 
Save the date for the Urban Green Infrastructure Summit Feb. 21 and 22, at the Embassy Suites in Tigard. Learn about flooding, stormwater management, air quality, climate change mitigation and adaptation, community health and more. For more information, click here
Learn how to head off house plant pests with vigilance and cleanliness from experts with the Oregon State University Extension Service. 
Quick Links  
Have Questions, Comments or Suggestions?
We would love to hear what you want to see in the next issue.  Please send your thoughts to us at    vicki.campbell@oregonstate.edu.