This week has been bittersweet; not only have we had our last class day before we graduate, but it was also the last time we were able to present nutrition classes to FSNE Seniors. Throughout the internship, we have had the opportunity to present different nutrition education topics to seniors who are part of the Food Supplemental Nutrition Education (FSNE) Program in Baltimore. As partnered pairs, we have taught seniors about fruits and vegetables, reading food labels, and making wise beverage choices. This past Monday, my internship partner and I were able to teach the seniors about the importance of breakfast.
Starting our class with a few stretches and chair exercises, we quickly jumped into asking the seniors about their normal breakfast routines (what foods they typically eat for breakfast, some reasons why they might skip breakfast and some of the “consequences” of missing breakfast, etc…). We taught the seniors about Breakfast Trio’s in which we encouraged them to have a breakfast that incorporates at least 3 food groups. Not only did we give examples of good breakfast trios, but we also included simple and healthy breakfast ideas that were quick and easy to make if you are on the go. Next, we had the seniors participate in an activity in which they were given a variety of “healthy breakfast items” and “unhealthy breakfast items” and were asked to create 2 healthy plates and 2 unhealthy plates. The seniors did an excellent job sharing their plates and remained very engaged throughout the activity.
After the activity, we offered a fresh fruit, granola and yogurt parfait for them to try. There was one senior that was opposed to trying yogurt because she didn’t like the taste, but after some light encouragement, she was raving about the snack. She was very grateful she tried the snack and gave yogurt a second try. She wanted me to know that she would be buying vanilla yogurt with fresh blueberries and granola to make a new breakfast option for herself and grandson; that was a memorable moment for me.
These classes have allowed us to get close with the seniors and practice our presentation skills in front of an older population. I will miss visiting the seniors, their enthusiasm and seeing their smiling faces. I am happy to have had to opportunity to present to them and was honored that they looked forward to seeing us and learning from us!