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Families Activas y Saludables/Families Active and Healthy (FAH) Notes from OUR GREEN THERAPY

In our last blog we spoke about the green space that we have in our garage spot and bringing the youth group together in “green therapy” sessions. So far, we have met six times with the youths and their counselors for the green therapy. So what do we talk about in these sessions? We talk about healthy food habits, healthy recipes, using items from our kitchen for beauty products, how to shop on a budget/buy healthy items, and meal planning ideas. We begin the session by taking a “walk” about the garden, picking a tomato or two, smelling the sage, lavender, and lemon grass, picking peppers, and harvesting the items ready to be eaten. Along the way, we do eat the delicious cherry tomatoes!

Our 4-H consultant, Mr. Jim is around to provide the guidance and answer any questions the youths might have. For these “green” sessions it is mandatory that the youths get their hands dirty…they learn to mix soil, plant saplings and flowers for fall season, and take out the dry roots from the containers.  At the last session, the youths planted strawberries in planters and also took home a couple of strawberry saplings to tend to. It so happened that a youth shared that she felt very close with her family when she was planting the herbs and plants. Her grandfather is an avid gardener in her home country and she felt nostalgic and happy at the same time.

I promised to share a healthy recipe that was shared by a youth and here it is.

It is Guacamole with Jicama sticks. For those of you not familiar with jicama you will find it in the produce section, after the papayas and the yam. It has a light brown skin that has to be peeled to eat the vegetable inside. The vegetable is eaten raw, and has a fresh flavor. It can also be enjoyed with just a dash of salt and black pepper.

Prep time is 20 minutes and serves 4.

The following ingredients are needed.

About the Grantee

PROCEED Inc.

PROCEED's mission is to provide and connect people to educational, health and human services; and enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations to offer quality programs and services to their communities locally in NJ, and throughout the United States and its territories.

Strategy: Healthy Eating

Cohort: North 4

Funder: Atlantic Health System

Cities: Elizabeth