Nutrition education from an expert

By By Doris Maricle / American Press

JENNINGS — Smart choices can lead to a healthier lifestyle, and one area nutritionist is hoping a 15-step program will change

the way some Jeff Davis Parish families look at food and nutrition.

Jodi Broussard, area nutrition agent for the Jeff Davis Parish and Acadia Parish LSU AgCenter, is gearing up to begin the

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.

EFNEP, a federally funded program, provides nutrition education to limited-resource families to help them improve their eating

habits and manage food dollars.

“We want to try to teach them how to improve their diets through healthy eating and teach them how to use their food resources

to buy healthier foods, as well as food safety and exercise,” Broussard said.

Broussard and a trained paraprofessional will go into schools and communities to teach the program using lessons on healthy

meals and snacks, portion size, shopping behavior, food resource management, food safety and exercise.

“We want them to make positive changes in their life, whether it’s increasing fruits and vegetables consumption, adding more

grains to their diet or increasing their activities level,” Broussard said.

Participants will complete a survey at the beginning of the program and will compare their behavior at the end of the program.

“We want them to be able to see the changes they have made,” she said.

Nutrition experts at the AgCenter developed the curriculum.

Broussard hopes to make the lessons fun by adding interactive hands-on activities, games, and cooking demonstrations, and

using colorful brochures to teach practical skills to change behavior.

“It will be more than just someone standing up there talking,” she said.

Adult participants must complete 10 of 15 lessons to receive a certificate. Youths must complete 12 of the lessons.

For more information, call Broussard at 824-1773.