Nutrition is for Everyone - April 2017

April 3, 2017


April 2017 | Vol. 2 Issue 4

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 We will be sharing this newsletter on the first Wednesday of every month to observe #WellnessWednesday and to share healthy eating and nutrition tips for people with disabilities.

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 Nutrition is for Everyone Ambassador Updates


Cooking MattersThe Arkansas Nutrition Ambassador wrapped up the Bentonville, Arkansas Cooking Matters class and had over 10 participants graduate from the class. The Pathfinders disability facility that offered the first class in Bentonville had such large interest from their clients that they have agreed to offer their second Cooking Matters class in the upcoming month!

Arkansas also started two additional Cooking Matters classes in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Little Rock, Arkansas. This is their first class to be held in Hot Springs and their second class to be held in Little Rock. They have over 20 participants with both classes combined who are thoroughly enjoying all the adapted recipes thus far and are excited to learn more throughout the upcoming weeks.

The Cooking Matters curriculum has officially been adapted to meet the needs of people with disabilities with the help of wonderful partners including AR Hunger Relief Alliance, Special Olympics, and the Arkansas Disability and Health Program. They are now submitting their adapted recipes and nutrition lesson plans to the Share Our Strength organization to create a permanent curriculum for people with disabilities. Once this curriculum is approved it will be available nationwide to all disability groups.

Arkansas is now working on a curriculum for an education class to provide to caregivers of People with Disabilities. The class will focus on educating caregivers on how to provide an overall nutritious and well balanced diet to those specifically with disabilities, including reaching the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables needed per day.

In addition, Nutrition is for Everyone Arkansas has been partnering with Special Olympics to host a "Nutrition Live Event" at the end of April that will offer a nutrition education booth/presentation for their athletes, families, and caregivers. They will also hand out healthy snacks to their athletes to help understand the role of fruits and vegetables in sports performance. This event will reach around 500 youth and adult athletes in Arkansas.


Three Cooking Matters ClassesIn Louisiana, a follow-up event was held for their previous Orleans Parish Cooking Matters class. All 12 participants - including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their friends, family, and support staff - attended the potluck to show off their cooking skills by bringing healthy dishes to share. Participants reflecting on their experience had exceptionally positive comments, mentioning improved behavior changes such as increased cooking at home, reading nutrition labels more often, and making smarter choices when eating out. Participants were eager to share what they had learned with others and expressed interest in working with our project to start Cooking Matters classes at their churches and community organizations.Two new Cooking Matters classes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their friends, family, and support staff began in March. The Louisiana nutrition intern Colleen proved to be an excellent instructor during her first two classes by using creative visuals to support learning.

Additionally, the Louisiana Nutrition Ambassador spoke at a two-parish Community Services Meeting in March. Provider organizations showed an overwhelming interest in the program and the state Ambassador has begun communicating with multiple organizations about starting Cooking Matters classes for the clients they serve.

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Nutrition Ambassadors are starting nutrition education classes for families who have children with disabilities at Variety Care in Oklahoma City. Variety Care offers a range of health care services that include medical, dental, mental health, optometry, community and social services. These classes will be held in Spanish, with interpreters available upon request. Topics will range from healthy shopping and cooking to eating to prevent chronic diseases.

Members of Oklahoma Self-Advocacy Network will be presenting their Self-Advocacy Leadership Training II module about healthy living on Friday, March 31 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In addition, Deputy Ambassadors were interviewed by a local Hispanic newspaper. Read their interview here.

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TN Ambassadors The Tennessee Nutrition Ambassador and Deputy Ambassador finished the series of nutrition education classes with the Post-Secondary Education class at the University of Memphis. The last class focused on "Eating the Rainbow,"and included a Bingo game about fruits & vegetables to review nutrition knowledge, and a sampling of both a rainbow fruit skewer and a rainbow vegetable skewer. We had a great time with these students, and hear very positive feedback through the faculty about the experience for the students and others in the classroom.

The Ambassador also presented a short talk about the Nutrition is for Everyone program to the board of the Tennessee Disability Coalition, which represents 40 agencies across the state with work with people with a variety of disabilities, and had a great discussion and food tasting while describing the Nutrition is for Everyone efforts. Several connections for upcoming community education events were initiated through these contacts.

The Nutrition Ambassador will be ending the month of March with a session presentation at the Mid-South Autism Conference.

Resources to Share

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  Nutrition Events

National Minority Health Month

April is National Minority Health Month. Read about what the Office of Minority Health is doing to observe this important month. You can also visit the official National Minority health website at to see how you and your organization can participate!

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  Nutrition in Action

Families Helping Families - Dewain Baldwin

Families Helping Families in Louisiana wrote an article highlighting Louisiana Nutrition Deputy Ambassador, Dewain Baldwin. Read the article about Dewain here.

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National Rehabilitation Information Center

Read about how current and recently completed NIDILRR-funded projects are helping people with disabilities focus on better nutrition.

March is National Nutrition Month

In honor of National Nutrition Month is March, Mathematica has summarized their latest research on nutrition policy and programs. Check out the nutrition information here.


Farm to School Mini-Grants for Native American Schools

The National Farm to School Network is pleased to announce a new mini-grant project: Seed Change in Native Communities with Farm to School.  The Seed Change in Native Communities with Farm to School project aims to expand farm to school activities (procurement of local and traditional foods, school gardens, and food and agriculture education) in Native communities as a strategy to leverage community-wide initiatives towards building food security and food sovereignty and towards revitalizing use of traditional foods. The project will provide five Native schools a mini-grant in the amount of $5,900 to expand and promote farm to school. Read about the Farm to School grant project here.

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  Subscription and Submissions

You are receiving this message because you are subscribed to the AUCD Nutrition4All listserv. This is a discussion list hosted by AUCD to facilitate communication on strategies to include people living with disabilities in nutrition efforts and to include nutrition in disability and health efforts. Members can email the list by replying to a message or sending a new message to the list's email. To subscribe to this listserv, email Jessica Minor, MPP, Public Health Program Manager.

To view this newsletter online, please visit our webpage.

button to submit articles To submit content for this monthly nutrition resource, please contact Jessica Minor, MPP, Public Health Program Manager. Nutrition resources and highlights with a short summary of 150-200 words. Photos and web links are encouraged!
All submissions for the April newsletter are due by April 28. 

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