Nutrition is for Everyone - May 2017

May 16, 2017


May 2017 | Vol. 2 Issue 5

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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


A Year in Review
With the conclusion of the pilot year for Nutrition is for Everyone, the Nutrition Ambassadors and their states had an extremely successful year in implementing nutrition education interventions, including direct training to people with disabilities and community members, across four states which typically have the lowest consumption of fruits and vegetables for people with disabilities. Reaching across Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Tennessee, the ambassadors provided leadership and educational training events to increase awareness, knowledge, and behavior change among people with disabilities that resulted in increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, increased numbers meals prepared and consumed at home on a weekly basis, and ultimately reducing health disparities related to nutrition. They provided practical solutions to common barriers of proper nutrition including cost, access to fruits and vegetables, and basic knowledge of healthy foods. The ambassadors also built strong and lasting partnerships with other community organizations and coalitions. The four states spoke at various meetings and conferences to further inform others of the importance of Nutrition is for Everyone and the importance of healthy eating and decreasing obesity for all individuals.


Two students eating lunch at a school cafeteria.Nutrition is for Everyone in Arkansas wrapped up their first grant year. They are truly grateful to the Walmart Foundation and AUCD for sponsoring our grant year and supporting us as we make healthy changes in the disability community here in Arkansas.

Two additional Cooking Matters classes were completed in the state of Arkansas. Buffington Towers in Little Rock and Abilities Unlimited in Hot Springs wrapped up their six-week Cooking Matters series. These two classes learned cooking skills and the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. The participants from these classes graduated with a diploma and personalized apron.

Overall, four adapted Cooking Matters classes were completed throughout the state. Participants were introduced to many new cooking skills to incorporate into their daily lives and increased their fruit and vegetable consumption, along with trying new fruits and vegetables over the six-week period. 

Students and Law Enforcement Officer holding Special Olympic Trophy on a track field.Arkansas NIFE created many strong participants throughout the year to help the program grow and be sustainable. Partners include Pathfinders facilities, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Health and Disabilities, Arkansas Obesity Coalition, and Special Olympics of Arkansas. Most recently, Nutrition is for Everyone participated in a Nutrition Live Event at the Special Olympics Track and Field Event in Bryant, Arkansas. They provided nutrition education, nutrition handouts, and healthy snacks (donated apples and whole grain granola bars) to a few hundred dedicated athletes. NIFE educated and answered questions for athletes and their parents. They discussed easy ways to maximize fruit and vegetable consumption at athletic events and/or at home.

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4 individuals cooking in a kitchen.The Louisiana project wrapped up its fourth Cooking Matters course for the year. The class of 12 participants visited a local Walmart to go on a Cooking Matters at the Store tour where they learned how to choose inexpensive fruits and vegetables, choose lean proteins, compare prices and read nutrition labels. Participants graduated from the course on May 1st. Throughout the year, Louisiana had much success with their Cooking Matters adapted curriculum. They created a picture-based questionnaire to collect information on nutrition behaviors of people with disabilities and began to build a library of picture-based recipes and activities.

Additionally, with the help of their nutrition intern they created a toolkit with strategies and resources for offering inclusive nutrition education that continues to be disseminated to partners across Louisiana. Louisiana worked hard to identify multiple successful partnerships throughout the year. Their partnership with the Metropolitan Human Services District led to identifying two active Nutrition Deputies and Second Harvest Food Bank has provided significant support in coordinating and implementing the Cooking Matters classes.

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Oklahoma nutrition education trainings for families who have children with disabilitiesThroughout the year, Oklahoma completed six nutrition education trainings for families who have children with disabilities. These trainings have been held in Spanish and have been targeted toward Hispanic communities. Nutrition education trainings have been held at Integris Southwest Medical Center, Variety Care, and at meetings for local support groups for families who have children with disabilities. These trainings have been conducted by our Deputy Ambassadors, Caty Serrano and Yvonne Lira, both of whom have children with disabilities.

Group of self advocates and teachers standing outside of the school.Oklahoma Self-Advocacy Network has completed four nutrition education trainings for the developed "Taking Control of Your Health" module. This module was taught by self-advocates, and teaches self-advocates how to interact with members of a health care team and how to live a more healthful life by eating well and exercising. They received a 98% satisfaction rating from participants with 96% reporting they learned something new.

Topics of the nutrition educations included: targeted food groups, healthy snacks, portion sizes, reading a nutrition facts label, how to make good decisions when eating away from home, limiting sodium intake, choosing low calorie/sugar free beverages, grocery shopping on a budget, and the importance of physical activity.


Students working in a campus garden.The Tennessee Nutrition Ambassador worked throughout the year to develop connections and p 
artnerships to build program sustainability, specifically with the Post Secondary Education programs in the state and connecting with dietetic programs at the same or close by universities. They partnered with University of Memphis TigerLife programs and completed four classes and one follow-up class with a total of 16 students. These students learned about different types of fruits and vegetables and the importance of eating them. 

 Along with working with Post Secondary Education program, Tennessee presented at various conferences and meetings throughout the state including the Tennessee Disability Coalition Board meeting and the MidSouth Autism Conference.

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  Looking Ahead

With the pilot year of Nutrition is for Everyone coming to a close, AUCD is very happy to announce that the Walmart Foundation has awarded funding for Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Tennessee to continue their wonderful work. In addition, a fifth state, Mississippi, has been added to the program. Welcome, Institute for Disability Studies: Mississippi's UCEDD. We are very excited and look forward to seeing the wonderful work Mississippi will develop in their state and the continued work of the pilot states.

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  Nutrition in Action

Health Impact in Five Years

The Health Impact in 5 Years initiative highlights three community-wide approaches that have evidences in reporting: positive health impacts, results within five years, and cost effectiveness. Read about the full initiative and its focus on the social determinants of health.


This is SNAP

SNAP LogoThe Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP is a proven effective anti-hunger program created in the 1960s. Read about its impact on the country and how SNAP has benefited millions of people.

A Healthy Recipe

Image of a Greek salad
Chopped Greek Salad with Chickpeas

While at a lunch and learn event, this wonderful Greek salad was offered. The sample plates were beautiful and delicious!

Click here to view the recipe.


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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 June newsletter are due by May 26. 

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