HELP's goal is to encourage healthy living by offering nutrition education and physical activity to the community of Monterey County by teaching students and adults how to make healthy food choices and to inrease the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Afterschool programs provide an excellent opportunity for HELP to promote healthy lifestyle principles among Monterey County elementary school children. The twice-weekly sessions give children the knowledge, skills and desire to make healthy lifestyle choices in the areas of nutrition and physical activity. Lessons are designed to be fun and hands-on; opportunities are provided to expand familiarity and positive experiences with healthful foods.
The HELP afterschool Garden Club is an innovative approach to incorporating nutrition education into afterschool programs. Although the value of garden-based education is widely recognized, incorporating it into the school day is difficult for most teachers. Through HELP’s Garden Club, school gardens are renovated and used to teach nutrition, horticulture, and environmental concepts.
The goal of the Simply Fresh program is to promote good nutrition by providing the public with easy recipes that encourage the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. This program develops recipes for sponsoring agricultural companies to showcase their products and increase marketability. Recipes are aired on television, served at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, and are available on the HELP website in English and Spanish.
Family Nights provide an opportunity for the entire family to learn about healthy lifestyle choices. Parents, children and even grandparents enjoy a fun-filled night out while learning important skills and concepts for improving their health.
HELP’s early childhood program, know as Fruits and Veggies 101, is available to Head Start programs throughout Monterey County. Preschool children experience a full morning of age –appropriate, multi-sensory experiences with produce that are intended to take them from “yuck” to “yum”!
In addition to the children’s activities, Fruits and Veggies 101 includes one teacher training and one parent education class for each site.
Parent education workshops in English and Spanish are available to interested community organizations.
HELP is asked to participate in a wide variety of community events, both major and local. Participation in community events allows HELP to disseminate health information throughout Monterey County.
HELP also offers cooking demonstraions featuring healthy, produce-rich recipes. We place emphasis on recipe “makeovers” in order that people learn hoe to make simple substitutions in classic dishes to make them healthier.
Live cooking demos and produce sampling in local farmers markets, schools, clubs, parent clubs, community health fairs and specail events. HELP recipes are featured in each issue of Central Coast Parent Magazine and utilized at Salinas Valley Memorail Hospital's cafeteria and patient meals. Recipes are on the HELP web site in both English and Spanish.