Cooking Class with Darla Klausner, Scott AFB
By Robin Allen, MSPH, RDN, LDN
There are no scheduled webinars for MFLN Nutrition and Wellness the months of November and December 2015. But we have an exciting line-up for 2016. I will talk about upcoming webinars in another blog. Today I want to revisit 5210 Healthy Military Children. If you missed the webinar, you can still watch the recording and receive CPEUs by visiting the event page.
I had a nice conversation with Darla Klausner, MPH, CHES, Program Director for 5210 Healthy Military Children (HMC) at Scott AFB in Illinois. Darla has started 5210 HMC at Scott AFB with great success and shared some of her strategies. Her first goal was to create awareness of the program. She provides 5210 kits to providers at the medical clinic to help military care providers address obesity more comfortably. The kits are specially designed by Darla and include a 5210 survey, 5210 definitions/recommendations, Healthy Kids Snacks, Tips for Families and a program trifold. The parents are given the 5210 Kit if their child has been coded as overweight, obese or with high lipids. The providers usually refer the families to Darla or the parents may contact her directly to set up an appointment. Parents feel very defensive when it comes to discussing their child’s weight. The kit helps open the dialogue about weight and general health habits of the child and the entire family. Darla will sometimes talk to the parents before the appointment to develop a counseling session that targets specific behaviors such as too much screen time, high cholesterol or obesity. A MyPlate handout is provided to the kids to take home and practice building balanced meals along with a cookbook to help them with healthier lunch ideas or snacks.
Currently, Darla holds teen cooking classes at the Youth Center. Some recipes include sloppy joes made from garbanzo beans, macaroni and cheese made from pumpkin puree, and energy bars made with almond butter, dates, pumpkin seeds, and oats. At the library, there is a Teen Healthy Choices challenge and also the Zero Sugary Drinks Challenge with the story time kids.
As a one-time event, the garden program cooking class worked with Operation Food Search to provide a “Garden to Table” cooking class. The goal for 2016 will include bi-monthly cooking classes for participants. The Garden to Table cooking class was such a success funds were allocated to build a raised garden to help prevent plant loss and continue with Garden to Table cooking classes for children and families. Additionally, the St. Clair County Health Department approved the 5210 HMC program for the military WIC clients, and Darla will begin teaching 5210 Healthy Military Children classes in January. A condensed lesson/briefing handout was used for staff training for nutrition education credit hours at the Youth Center staff. Darla included a short demonstration on how to encourage kids and parents to add more vegetables to their diet. The feedback has been positive, and this has led to creating a healthy lunch bunch for the staff members.
Most of the materials used at Scott AFB were adapted from The Clearing House for Military Family Readiness with the help of Dr. Jen Dinallo, our webinar presenter, who has been a great support system to the 5210 HMC program at Scott AFB.
Other things I learned from Darla:
Most bases have various Facebook pages that you may be able to post events. The Scott AFB Youth Center has a Facebook page along with the Scott AFB Library. All have been good places to reach out to kids and parents.
Another tip, using a Spiralizer, is an excellent way to show kids and parents how to have fun with vegetables. You can order a Spiralizer from anywhere, but Inspiralized.com has some great recipes.
The following are some of the materials used at Scott AFB. You can contact Darla for copies if you would like some ideas for starting or improving your 5210 HMC.
How can you start 5210 HMC on your base or facility?
This post was written by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.