• CDC parents lunch and learn

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    “Date Night” was the theme for the monthly Lunch and Learn Feb. 13 at the Osage Child Development and School-Age Center.
    “It’s Valentine’s Day and one of the things that I know that people struggle with is how to manage a holiday that is traditionally unhealthy,” said Child and Youth Services Registered Nurse Amy Domann.
    The Lunch and Learn program, now in its third year, was originally started as a way for Domann to give parents healthy eating tips and recipes for easy cooking at home.
    “We all kind of get overwhelmed and think it takes so much more effort to cook healthy than just go out or go through the drive through. (Doman has) a lot of good tips just from personal experience with her family and different diets they need to be on and then also with her nursing knowledge. She gives good feedback and there’s always samples,” said Chris Wecas, Parent Central and Outreach Services director.
    “We were trying to find additional parent education opportunities, and when we ended up with a CYS nurse on staff that was willing to do it, we proceeded.”
    Carole Hoffman, CYS coordinator, said she knew it was a good idea when Wecas approached her with the possibility.
    “Amy does a really great job. All of her Lunch and Learns are about quick, easy, healthy (recipes) and she helps parents learn how to adapt a recipe, how to change out (and) how to sneak in veggies,” Hoffman said.
    “We know that health and nutrition is a huge deal. We’re trying to help working parents figure out fun and easy ways that they can incorporate that because we know we have such an issue in this country with obesity and healthy, busy lifestyles. So, when they pitched this idea to me, I knew it was a really great idea to be able to go down that lane.”
    The February meal consisted of a cocktail sparkling water with frozen raspberries; bruschetta wontons with roma tomatoes, chopped onion, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, feta cheese and a balsamic glaze; spinach and strawberry salad; Italian wedding soup, made with ground chicken and Italian turkey sausage for the meatballs; and rosy avocado mousse for dessert.
    “I always have some kind of try. I’m always going to try something new, and that’s kind of an ongoing theme that we talk about is not to be afraid to try something new,” Domann said. “That’s how you know what’s going to work, what’s not (and) what your family’s going to eat.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Hoffman said it’s a positive model for children.
    “It’s also a great lesson for kids is to not be afraid to try something new,” she said. “Kids can see that grownups (try new things), too.”
    Domann said the inspiration for the theme came from the origin of Valentine’s Day and the story of St. Valentine.
    “He became a martyr in the church because the legend is he would marry soldiers in secret and that’s where the love comes in. He would go to military camps where soldiers were forbidden to be married and he would marry these soldiers in secret,” Domann said. “It gave me a little military-themed inspiration there.”
    Domann said Valentine’s Day is a good opportunity to teach children about love and friendship.
    “This is a great time to teach kids to celebrate friendship and celebrate the love a family has for each other,” Domann said. “A family that cooks together will have a much better relationship with food.”
    The next Lunch and Learn is from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. March 13 at Osage CDC, 130 Dickman Ave. The theme is “Last Minute Fixes” and the class is free to all CYS parents. The March session will also begin the CYS Parent Advisory Board meetings where parents can give input on CYS programs and policies from 12:15-1:15 p.m. Parents who participate in the Lunch and Learn and Parent Advisory Board meetings, and have regularly scheduled, contracted child care can earn participation points to later be used for discounts on monthly child care bills. Registration for the next session is open until noon March 12. To register, call 684-5138.
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