After the kids at the Seals Community Center at Kirk Park completed a six week CATCH Series, 11 year old Imani said “All kids should be learning how to do what we do in these classes- read labels and recipes, make our own healthy food and work together as a team. Schools should require all kids to take these classes (CATCH Kids) I know a lot of adults who don’t as much about cooking as I do now!".

Katie Oja

Onondaga County

Throughout the Summer of 2015, nutrition educators provided nutrition education for those that came to the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW) bus. The SNAP-Ed nutrition educators saw many of the same participants weekly. Over time, the participants would share the changes they made from the information they learned through the nutrition education. One participant shared, “I made that broccoli salad you had brought last week--so good! I’m definitely making it when my family comes to visit!”. Another participant said, “This information has been really helpful and gives great ideas for cooking healthy! I have been using your recipes.” The presence of SNAP-Ed educators at the CHOW Bus has allowed the community to become comfortable in approaching the SNAP-Ed educators, asking nutrition and health related questions, and sparking interest in what the SNAP-Ed program has to offer.

Alyssa Scoville & Jenna Matthews

Broome County

Over the winter ESNY educators made applesauce pancakes with the youth at DC4. This immediately became the kids' favorite recipe! The youth did a great job pointing out the ingredients in the recipe that made the pancakes healthy and were excellent helpers while making the batter. The kids were very excited to find out that these "GO" cakes were not only good for them, but tasted great as well. All the kids asked for the recipe to take home and make with their families. At the end of the lesson Miss Harley, who works with the school-aged children, said “What I like about this program is that it’s fun and engaging. The level of engagement, especially when we’re cooking, is really good for this group because it cuts down on distractions and allows them to learn more.”

Andrea Day

Delaware County

After completing a six week CATCH series as part of the her after-school program Leigh wrote, "Dear Mrs. Neal, Thank you for teaching me how to cook. It has been a pleasure cooking with you. Now I know how to cook with a knife. Don't worry I will ask my parents. Also thank you for teaching me to eat healthy. I am going to miss you so much. Love, Leigh". Leigh's mom added that Leigh had been paying attention in class and was constantly coming home and sharing new recipes and healthy eating tips with her family! Leigh included a drawing of all her favorite things about nutrition class!

Cheryl Neal

Onondaga County

At "The Place" after-school programming, a young girl named Lara sampled Cowboy Caviar. She was saying "Ah come on were having Salsa, I hate Salsa." After dishing out the samples for everyone else Lara then asked if she could try a little bit. After I dished her out a sample, she goes "Oh my god I absolutely love this and I don't like salsa". She then asked for a recipe to take home so she could make it again with her family. Another little boy named Alex tried the Cowboy Caviar, seeming not too optimistic about liking it, but after he tried it he said "Wow this is go and, I don't even like beans!"

Whitney Kmetz

Chenango County

At the after-school site "The Place" I brought a prepared recipe of BBQ lentils for the children to sample. Children tend to get easily turned off when they hear 'lentils,' unwilling to try them, so it was described as homemade baked beans. As they were all enjoying their samples one little boy named Alex said,"'I have never had homemade baked beans like this. I have only had them with bacon and these are really good!" He asked for a second sample because he loved them so much! Beans can sometimes be a hard sell, especially for kids, so this was truly a huge success story!

Whitney Kmetz

Chenango County

This past weekend I attended Healthy Kids Day at the Norwich YMCA where I have also done after-school programming with the children. I had one girl come up to me that had previously done a series with me at the YMCA after-school site and said that her family made the minestrone soup that she sampled in after-school for dinner twice so far. This recipe was a sampling I had brought for them during one of the lessons and they all really enjoyed all of the different vegetables that I added into it. She said that her mom made it too spicy for her the first time but the second time she tamed it down more!! It was a great way to introduce new recipes. We find that if children enjoy the recipes themselves they are more likely to take them home to share with their families...this is a perfect example of that!

Whitney Kmetz

Chenango County

This winter, a dynamic group of seniors at the Magnarelli Center in McChesney Park participated in the “Eat Smart Live Strong” program. Each Tuesday, for six weeks, seniors learned about healthy eating and active living and worked together to prepare a healthy meal at the Magnarelli Center.

Anita Bono & Amie Chambers

Onondaga County

Our nutrition programming always takes us to some fun places! On February 28th, we spent a day touring 20 people around Price Chopper in Western Lights; showing them how to get the best nutrition for the best price. We walk them through all five food groups; reading labels and looking at unit pricing!

Roseanne Jones

Onondaga County

It's rewarding to see behavior change in children at afterschool sites. One girl, whose family originated from Africa has been a wonderful participant in my one afterschool sites. She is always willing to try new things and, is always expressing to myself and her peers many new things her family likes to try with fruits and vegetables. The first time she was in group, the children helped me prepare Apple Wraps from the Cooking Matters recipes. They all really enjoyed the recipe. She came back to me the following week and said "My family has been doing that recipe for breakfast for the past week, we all really love that recipe at home now, thanks Miss Whitney". I just always love to hear things like that from my children that I work with, this is exactly why I do what I do everyday!

Whitney Kmetz

Chenango County

In one of my Direct lessons teaching the Cooking Matters at your Food Pantry curriculum I had talked to my class about dried beans. A lot of them were very taken back by them because they always thought it was a tedious process and too much time was involved. I explained to them that it does not really take to much effort and dried beans are a fabulous because they do not have the sodium like canned beans. You also get a huge yield versus canned, saving yourself a lot of money. One individual in my class named Christine listened to my method of preparing dried beans, went home, bought them and processed them. She then made homemade ham and bean soup and froze the leftover beans for further use. She said to me "I listened to you about dried beans last week and you are right... it is very easy and they taste great"!

Whitney Kmetz

Chenango County

At the end of a talk about snacking on fruits and vegetables at the YMCA in Norwich, ESNY educator, Whitney, asked youth participants to come up with new vegetables they would like to try. The group decided they wanted to try eggplant! With eggplant in mind, Whitney came up with a food that she thought kids would love—eggplant pizzas! The next week at the YMCA, she did a food demonstration showing the group how they could make eggplant pizzas at home. The pizzas were a hug hit! One youth participant, Meadow, asked her mom if they could go to the store on the way home to buy some eggplant and make the pizzas at home. Meadow also told her mom that while the eggplant pizzas were cooking they smelled just like pizza she had gotten on the boardwalk in New Jersey! All of the youth participants gave the pizzas two thumbs up!

Whitney Kmetz

Chenango County

Thanks to our programs funding, we are able to distribute tools to our students live healthier lives. At a recent sugary beverage lesson we were able to give out water bottles. The following week a woman came back and told us that since getting her ESNY bottle she fills it up at least three times a day with water!

Whitney Kmetz

Chenango County

Choosemyplate.gov is a fantastic resource. As educators, it is a incredibly useful tool to promote to students in ESNY classes. One gentleman went to the site and went into Supertracker to see how many calories he should be consuming on average. He had told us he was consuming on average 5,000 calories a day. He cut his calories in half after going to this site! He started consuming 2,500 calories and went from being 330 pounds to 313 pounds in three weeks! He started looking at healthier food choices to help manage his diabetes, his doctor took him off of insulin, and he says he feels better each day!

Whitney Kmetz

Chenango County

Cooking for less was a program designed to help participants better understand the concepts of healthy eating, teaching them to cook healthier and providing them with some physical activity. While everyone loved the food aspect of the class, the physical activity was a big hit also! “I love the exercise portion of this class. It costs $58 a month for a gym membership, with the activities I’ve been learning, I can exercise at home, for free.” - Chris

Maegan Freeman

Delaware County

“Add more Fruits and Vegetables” Farmer’s Markets are a great place to educate people about the importance of fruits and vegetables. Some people are skeptical to try new things. Trying a small sample is a great way to try new foods or even foods that you thought you didn’t like. “Ewww BEETS!! There’s beets in this smoothie? Good thing I didn’t read the ingredients before I tried it. It’s really good, you should have everyone over here to try this!” - Shopper

Maegan Freeman

Delaware County

"Families that shop together, eat together!" 50 shoppers joined CCE Eat Smart New York educators for the “Family Meal times Matter” event during April, 2017. Shoppers sampled kid-friendly lunch recipes and committed to purchasing one or more new fruits and veggies. "Look at this! I gave my granddaughter the option of picking donuts or pineapples for a snack and she picked pineapple! I must be doing something right! Thanks for making her feel extra special with this photo shot!" (Grandmother at Price chopper- Syracuse NY)

Kathy Dischner

Onondaga County

“I really liked this training. The woman who presented it was excellent! It was well planned out. Throughout the training we had classroom time then gym time. We were on the move and having fun. I didn't even realize how fast the time went. During our gym games we were active for 30 minutes, having fun and everyone participated. There was no down time. Very easy in transitions. I will use the set up and CATCH phrases she used for my program next year. I want to spend time this summer reviewing the CATCH binder and grouping the activities and games together as a unit to coordinate with my themes. She also gave ideas on how to change up the games for different age groups as well as when you are short of equipment. I also can see the value that CATCH would have for the summer program. There is also a website she gave us so we can download more material that I want to explore as well. So glad I went.- (Salvation Army Youth leader)” 33 After School program youth leaders from three agencies across Onondaga County engaged in a 6-hour activity-based training to gain resources and skills to engage youth in age-appropriate, “inclusive” active play. CATCH has a 25 year track record as an evidenced-based program proven program to help reduce childhood obesity risk.

Kathy Dischner

Onondaga County

A family-owned supermarket in Syracuse is implementing a numerical rating system that helps people choose products that are more nutritious. The system is showing big differences in products that look nearly identical... [See the story here: http://wrvo.org/post/supermarket-syracuse-ranks-products-based-nutrition#stream/0]

Onondaga County ESNY

Onondaga County

One boy from a CATCH series at an elementary school told me that he and his mom have made "Peanut Butter Banana Pockets" (from Cooking Matters at the Pantry) every morning for breakfast since I made them for the kids!

Anna Kortright

Broome County