North Dakota Nutrition Council


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2017 Mini Grant Recipients

2017 Mini-Grant Recipients:

Krystle McNeal | Child Care Aware | Farm to Child Care 2017

Farm-to-Child Care 2017 will seek to introduce square foot gardening to young children and child care providers in Cass County. Child care providers will be selected through an application process. Priority will be given to providers who do not currently have a garden on-site at their child care program. Participating providers will receive the materials to start a small square foot garden at the site of their program, including a garden box, soil, and seeds. Providers will also receive an introductory training to learn about square foot gardening, as well as monthly coaching during the growing season. Coaching will include suggestions for healthy recipes, food preparation, activities to be done with preschool-age children, and technical assistance for their garden. Coaching will be provided by Krystle McNeal, RD, LRD, and Brian Fuder, a square-foot gardening expert in the Fargo-Moorhead area.  


In the summer of 2016, a similar Farm-to-Child Care program was introduced to licensed child care programs in Cass County. It was incredibly well received, but 20 child care providers were unable to participate due to a lack of funds. Eleven child care programs from Cass County participated, impacting approximately 227 children. Providers reported that they were more likely to offer fresh vegetables after participating in Farm-to-Child Care than before. We anticipate being able to make a greater impact in 2017 with the addition of a square-foot gardening expert to help coach and support providers. 


Julie Garden-Robinson | NDSU Extension | On the Move Cooking School

The Kids Cooking School program is to be implemented by staff in 4-H Youth Development, Extension Snap-ed, Family and Consumer Sciences, and by community partners. Elementary-age children in afterschool programs and summer programs will engage in Kids Cooking Schools to learn culinary skills, food safety principles, gardening (when possible) and MyPlate-based nutrition principles. The curriculum was developed as the result of a two-year project conducted by the PI of this grant, a graduate student and Extension Assistant. It was published in a thesis and two journal articles. These schools are designed to foster an atmosphere where trying new foods is encouraged and praised, increasing the efficacy of the programs through participant involvement.

Peggy Netzer | Ruth Meiers | Cooking for Health

Ruth Meiers proposes to provide nutrition and basic-level cooking classes for our residents to promote healthy lifestyles and independent living skills. Ruth Meiers’ mission is to empower individuals in achieving self-sufficiency. We do this by creating a transitional pathway from homelessness to community reintegration by offering more than just shelter. Ruth Meiers provides numerous essential support services to address the needs of our clients. To expand our support services, Ruth Meiers would like to launch “Cooking for Health” in 2017. Cooking for Health will combine education on basic cooking skills and nutrition into a program that will empower our clients to take ownership of their health and learn essential skills needed for self-sufficiency as they reintegrate into the community. Basic cooking classes will teach information on knowing the tools, terms and measurements, reading and modifying recipes, and simple meal planning and preparation. Nutrition Education will be included as part of each cooking skills class by focusing on preparing meals and using tools that incorporate healthy food choices based on the MyPlate recommendations. During each class, we will provide nutrition education materials and share healthy recipes. We anticipate 20 participants per class. The classes will be open to adults to promote healthy cooking for themselves and/or their families. Cooking for Health will be open to clients in our residential program and apartments.

Leigh Gunkel/Kristi Berdal | NDSU Extension | Summer Fun Foods

Food preparation classes for youth will be held at locations in Griggs, Steele, and Traill counties. Participants would be from Afterschool Programs, 4-H members, and Summer Youth Programs in all counties. The classes would involve an estimate of 90 total participants. At least 6 classes (2 at each location) will be held, to teach youth basic concepts of nutrition, food preparation, and food safety, geared to choosing and preparing summertime snacks for themselves and others. Classes will cover information on basic healthful nutrition, hands-on food preparation and food safety activities.

Megan Myrdal | Ugly Food of the North | Try One, Like One, Buy One

Try One, Like One, Buy One is a program that will be implemented by Ugly Food of the North in cooperation with Fargo-Moorhead area farmers markets. This program will share a seasonal cosmetically imperfect food (i.e. misshapen tomatoes, crooked cucumbers, warty squash) with children ages 6-11 at a booth at participating farmers markets. Children will be educated about the importance of not judging a food by the way it looks and to value food based on qualities like being healthful and locally grown. Children will then be given the opportunity to taste the food (either in the raw or prepared form, if required). If they taste the food, they will be provided 2 tokens (each valued at $1) to buy their own fresh produce at the farmers market. These tokens are the same tokens that are available to SNAP participants, therefore limiting the options that children can buy to mainly fruits and vegetables. This program is modeled after a similar program successfully implemented at the Mill City Farmers Market in Minneapolis.

Angie Hasbrouck | Family Wellness | Healthy Cooking in the Classroom

Through the Healthy Cooking in the Classroom Program, Family Wellness provides hands on healthy cooking instruction in the classroom to many area elementary students in West Fargo, Fargo, and potentially Moorhead. This program teaches children different food preparation skills such as: opening cans, slicing, mixing, measuring, and heat element safety. The program aims to increase fruit and vegetable intake, improve nutrition scores, and create lifelong healthy cooking skills. During the program, 4th and 5th grade students receive four healthy cooking lessons where they make (and eat) a healthy recipe. These hands on lessons take place during the health or physical education class of their school day and are provided at no cost to the student. Each student gets to take a recipe handout home and are encouraged to make the recipe at home with their family. All recipes follow USDA and American Heart Association nutrition guidelines and are items that the children can make themselves. This program was added into the health curriculum of all 10 West Fargo elementary schools and has been implemented into 3 Fargo schools impacting over 2,100 students. We are looking to expand to one more elementary school with this funding which would impact roughly 200 more students.

Ann Schuetzle | Heartland Child Nutrition | Enhancement for Child Care Food Program Training

Heartland Child Nutrition is a state-wide sponsor of the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) with 500 enrolled family child care providers.   A large scale change in the USDA Meal Pattern for the ACFP will take effect Oct. 1, 2017.  Heartland Child Nutrition plans to conduct 14 training sessions across the state for child care providers during spring 2017.  There are numerous changes to discuss, with the

major changes being: 1) at least one grains/bread serving a day must be a whole grain product   2) sweet grains/breads – cookies, sweet rolls, granola bars, etc. – will no longer be reimbursable   3) cereals will be limited to 6 grams sugar/oz. or less   4) whole milk must be served to 1 year olds 5) a protein food may be served instead of a grains/bread at breakfast.    

This grant request is to fund an assortment of whole grain products at a value of $35 each per training session (14 sessions).  The whole grain products would serve two purposes:  1) Serve as examples of whole grain products that could be incorporated into their child care meals and snacks.  The products will be on display and discussed at the sessions.   2) The collection of products will be a door prize to a lucky child care provider at each of the trainings.  A photo of the door prize will be used in promotions to attend the trainings with clear indication that it is provided by the ND Nutrition Council.  We have found in the past that offering door prizes is an incentive to attend trainings.


Heide Martin | SENDCAA Food Program | Updated Creditable Food Guide and Training

the SENDCAA Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) will implement their newly updated meal patterns for childcare. This is the first major revision of the CACFP meal patterns since the program's inception in 1968 and will require meals and snacks provided through the CACFP to better reflect the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the nutritional issues facing young children. The new meal patterns showcase a greater variety of vegetables and fruits, more whole grains, and less added sugar. To aid our childcare providers in having a complete understanding of USDA’s new guidelines, we plan to update our current Creditable Food Guide to reflect these new guidelines and present a minimum of two face to face workshops. The updated Creditable Food Guide will contain lists of creditable and non-creditable food items organized by food groups, explanation of components for each meal, policies and procedures, protocol for special diets and infant feeding guidelines. In August a minimum of two face to face trainings will be presented to go along with this new Creditable Food Guide. During the workshop providers will participate in revising menus to coordinate with the new meal patterns, receive education on whole grain and low sugar cereal options, and gain ideas for healthy celebrations at snack time. Providers will leave feeling confident about fulfilling the criteria for the new meal patterns.

Jan Stankiewicz


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