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News / Health / Clark County Health

WSU aims to determine if nutrition program for families is working

It’s seeking participants to take classes, surveys, then receive payment

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian Health Reporter
Published: October 12, 2017, 6:01am

Washington State University Clark County Extension wants to know if its nutrition curriculum is being put into practice in homes. And WSU is going to pay families who participate in a study to uncover the answer.

The Food, Feeding & Your Family study is a collaboration between WSU, Colorado State University and Baylor University. The goal is to determine whether the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program curriculum used to teach families techniques for healthy eating are being retained and put into practice in participants’ daily lives.

“We want to know the way we’re teaching is effective and it benefits them,” said Brenda Harrison, nutrition educator for the program at the WSU Clark County Extension. “We want to present it in a way that they understand and are able to put it into practice.”

Families will be paid a total of $190 for their participation in the study.

Here’s how it’ll work: Participants will take a survey before the program begins, followed by nine weekly lessons covering a variety of topics. After the educational sessions end, participants will take a second survey. Then six months and one year after the classes, participants will take surveys, for a total of four surveys. Participants are paid after completing each of the surveys.

Take Part

Those interested in participating in the Food, Feeding & Your Family study can contact Washington State University:

 Catalina Aragón, 253-365-0309 or c.aragon@wsu.edu.

 Melissa Casey, 253-798-3227 or melissa.casey@wsu.edu.

The weekly lessons are about one and a half to two hours long and cover a range of dietary topics, such as techniques for making fruits and vegetables half of your plate, how to incorporate whole grains into meals and ways to menu plan to save money on groceries.

“With our busy world these days, not a lot of people cook from scratch,” Harrison said. “We’re trying to get them to eat at home, know what goes into their food, make healthier choices and save money.”

The extension is looking for participants who qualify for one or more of several programs for low-income families: free or reduced-price school meals, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, Women Infants and Children and Head Start or Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program.

Participants must also be responsible for feeding a child or children 2 to 8 years old, have a smartphone and internet access. Those who have participated in an Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program before are not eligible.

The study runs until Sept. 30, 2018; the extension will hold as many classes as possible in the duration of the study. Each class will have five to 12 participants and will be held at various locations across the county. English and Spanish classes will be available.

Columbian Health Reporter