Taste Tests Tempt…

Mom always said to eat your veggies, and now the Oakland County health division is following up on her advice. Guests of the Baldwin Center family kitchen are getting a taste of fresh fruits and vegetables as part of an initiative that hopes to encourage those receiving food stamps to eat more healthy foods.

Presented as a taste-testing, workers from the health division and student volunteers from Oakland University are inviting visitors to sample veggies, juices, and fruits. Alexandra Crosson, a public health educator with Oakland County, said the program is working. “Tastings introduce people to things that they might not have tried before, and hopefully will stay in their mind when they go to make a purchase.”

The taste testing is part of a grant funded SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistant program) initiative and is funded through the Michigan Department of Community Health. It will last throughout the summer, and is being supported in part by volunteer students from Oakland University, who are studying to be physician assistants.

In addition to the taste-testings, a group of ten women will meet weekly for six weeks to learn how to cook new recipies and encourage each other to choose healthier foods as part of the Sisters in Health program.

This partnership is part of a larger strategy by the Baldwin Center to encourage healthier living.  “Eating healthy, exercising more frequently and monitoring ones stress level are critical to empowerment,” says Lisa Machesky.  “Your outlook on life’s problems improves when you feel good.”

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