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NMC Holds Nutrition Workshop for DYS (March 11, 2009)

As part of an effort to promote better quality of life in the CNMI through nutrition education, Northern Marianas College Cooperative Research Extension and Education Services’ (CREES) Nutrition Programs Coordinator Patricia Coleman and Nutrition Educator Rose Castro recently conducted a nutrition workshop designed for the staff of the Division of Youth Services.

Held on Tuesday, March 3, 2009, the purpose of the workshop was to enhance the knowledge of DYS Emergency Shelter employees in the areas of nutrition: preparation, cooking, healthy choices, food safety. The training was done to help ensure that meals cooked and foods purchased for children in the shelter would be of better nutritional quality.

DYS Division Supervisor Vivian Sablan had contacted Coleman and Castro about the need for a nutritional training class for DYS employees. Their response was to offer DYS a nutritional workshop. The two CREES staff members then decided to better customize the training module to better meet the needs of the DYS employees who fall under the category of childcare providers.

The workshop consisted of presentations on topics such as kitchen safety, sanitary food handling, understanding the food guide pyramid, making healthy choices and planning meals for children. Castro and Coleman also, encouraged roundtable discussions on diet, food safety and nutritional issues common in the cultures of Saipan and Micronesia.

Castro reported that the pre- and post-assessment questionnaires that the employees took “showed an indication of improved nutrition knowledge after completion of training.”

This can go a long way with the DYS employees, who work at a shelter “that has the potential to enhance the nutrition and health status of the children they serve, as well as the families that the children come from” says Castro.

This workshop and training opportunity was part of a community project by CREES to promote healthy living and to fulfill the requirements for the School of Education which are part of Castro’s Bachelor’s of Science degree program.

NMC-CREES is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.

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