During my last week with Extension we had the opportunity to attend a WOW (Women On Wellness) Retreat, meet up with HSTA (Health Science Technology Academy), and teach nutrition lessons at day camp for 4-H.
For the WOW retreat I had the opportunity to administer balance/fall risk assessments in the morning and teach three nutrition education sessions in the afternoon. For the educational session we chose to demo healthy snacks that fit with our “Healthy Red Foods for Heart Health” theme. We decided to demo a healthy homemade red bean salsa, frozen grapes and watermelon balls (for a healthy, refreshing dessert!), and a red drink with juice and club soda. We discussed with the participants the benefits of a heart healthy diet and what a heart healthy diet looks like. We covered the main points such as fat, cholesterol, sodium, and fiber and the participants were very receptive and came with lots of questions! Overall, this was a great opportunity and a very fun day; we even had the opportunity to go on a mini-kayaking trip, enjoy a chair massage, and meet many other women from all different backgrounds! If you ever have the opportunity to attend a WOW retreat, or something similar, I would highly recommend it!
One afternoon this past week we had the opportunity to meet up with HSTA to join in on their BioMed class to tour the WVU medical training facilities and cadaver lab. The cadaver lab was an eye-opening experience for the high school students and myself. I had only been through one cadaver lab but had never had a hands-on lesson. I was able to feel the difference between a healthy heart and heart full of atherosclerosis and so much more! In addition to the cadaver lab, I had no idea all the technology they had available to their students. They have three medical models that run anywhere from $90,000 to $250,000 each! These are life size models that have heart rates and can breathe in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. They can respond to variety of medications and act out thousands of conditions. These are crucial to experiential learning that should be utilized by all health professionals in training. Here is a picture of the child model who goes by the name of Chucky (can you guess why?)!
Each day during the week we spent the mornings teaching four 40-minutes classes to 4-H campers who were between the ages of six and nine. During this time period we were responsible for selecting snacks that could be prepared on an outdoor picnic table by the kids that they would save for snack time later on in the afternoon. We made a variety of snacks such as trail mix, bean dip, yogurt parfaits, turkey wraps, and fruit salsa with cinnamon chips. We taught the kids about MyPlate, eating the rainbow, the drink pyramid, and even brought in “exotic” fruit for tasting. It was surprising to learn how many of the food items that the kids had never tried. For example, there were many students who didn’t know what cream cheese was. This was a great opportunity to introduce these kids to eating healthy and to provide them the chance to try many foods that they don’t normally eat.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Extension and loved the fact that everyday was a new adventure! It is definitely a great place to work for anyone seeking a job in community nutrition.