Mountain Family Center utilizes several community gardens to obtain fresh produce for our clients in the summer. One is here at our office, and cared for by our own staff and volunteers. We use small pallet and tire gardens to grow flowers, potatoes, lettuce, spinach and herbs for the food pantries and also to provide education about how to grow some of your own food in a limited space. The other community garden is in Fraser, where there are a total of 40 raised beds- 12 outside and 28 inside a hoop house. One bed is reserved for Mountain Family Center, and is graciously tended by one of our Board Members, Debbie Young.
Nutritional Education & Wellness
MFC hosts four annual Cooking Matters sessions that follow Share Our Strength’s nutritional guidelines. Mountain Family Center has a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation through Family Resource Center Association. The grant provides collaborative programming through Share Our Strength/ Cooking Matters. The curriculum empowers families and children at risk for hunger with skills, knowledge and confidence to make healthy and affordable meals. Course participants learn how to select nutritious and low-cost ingredients and prepare them in ways that provide the best nourishment possible to their families. Cooking Matters is a nationally sponsored class by the Congra Foods Foundation and Wal-Mart. Each session meets two hours a week for six weeks. Classes focus on nutritional guidelines, developing creative recipes, while shopping on a restricted budget or using items from food banks. Classes are free to participants.
EatPlayGrow™ is a new early childhood health curriculum developed in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) adapted the We Can!® obesity prevention program (originally for ages 8-13) creating EatPlayGrow™ to teach children ages 6 and younger and their adult caregivers how to make healthy nutrition and physical activity choices. This curriculum combines the latest science and research from the NIH with CMOM’s holistic arts and literacy-based pedagogy to engage families and adults who work with young children with creative programs and consistent health messages in informal and formal learning environments.The entire curriculum has been reviewed by HHS scientific experts to ensure that the information is scientifically accurate and consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
Exploring Foods Together
MFC provides simple activities that adults who work with young children can use, in the classroom or in the home, to help them learn about new foods and start building the skills to make healthy food choices. These field-tested, easy-to-use activities center around 5 basic food concepts: food identification and tasting; food purchasing; food preparation; food origins; and food culture. All of the toolkit activities were designed to integrate well with overall curriculum objectives in early childhood education settings.
Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH)
CATCH Kids Club (CKC) is a physical activity and nutrition education program designed for elementary aged children (grades K – 5) in an after-school or summer setting in Kremmling. CKC is composed of nutrition education (including snack activities) and physical activity. The CKC program offers an easy-to-use format that both children and staff enjoy and is easy to implement.