Eat your vegetables

Produce program for kids

Chico State’s Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion (CNAP) recently received money to introduce a program that links immigrant and refugee families with young children with locally grown ethnic produce, according to a university press release.

The project’s staff, which includes undergraduate and graduate students, will use the $149,970 federal grant from the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative over two years to conduct focus groups with Hmong, Latino and other immigrant and migrant parents who have children in kindergarten through second grade. They will collect parents’ opinions on locally grown produce and will provide food-prep demos.

Kids in the Chico, Gridley and Thermalito school districts will get taste tests and will be sent home with recipe cards. The project is intended to prevent childhood obesity among ethnic groups and link them with farmers who grow ethnic fruits and vegetables. If it is successful, the program will expand around California and into other states, said project director Keiko Goto, an associate professor in the Chico State nutrition department.