The Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health
CAUSES recognizes the critical need to combat systemic urban nutrition and health issues and engage citizens in collaborative efforts to improve community health. The Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health couples research and education to provide thought leadership and outreach in the areas of nutrition, diet, health, and food safety. The center is dedicated to educating residents on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and ways to prevent obesity, heart disease, and other health threats. The Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health offers the following suite of programs and services aimed at improving District residents' quality of life.
|Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed)|
District of Columbia Professional Food Managers/Food Handler Certification Program prepares food handlers for any of the accredited food managers' examinations including ServSafe, Experior, and the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals exams. Topics include danger associated with food-borne illness, risk factors that contribute to food-borne disease outbreaks, characteristics of potentially hazardous foods, employee health and personal hygiene, safe food handling, equipment, facilities, and Hazard Analysis Critical Control points (HACCP). Individuals successfully completing the course are eligible to sit for the national exam.
DC Water Blind Taste Testing Research Project is designed to determine consumer preference consumption patterns related to drinking water. Using a double-blind procedure and various types of drinking water, the project conducts tasting events throughout the city and collects data on drinking water attitudes and behaviors.
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) provides nutrition education to low-income adults with young children and youth with emphasis on the following topics: nutritional needs and cultural heritage of audience; nutrition knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to improve diets; planning for daily food needs; knowledge and practice in food selection and preparation; knowledge of financial management relating to family food budget, uneven incomes, and local food resources; use and care of equipment used for food preparation, storage, and utilization; food safety, health, and sanitation practices; food practices that reinforce personal development of family members; gardening and food production techniques; food preservation practices; maternal and infant nutrition education which complements other programs and information received from health delivery systems; body weight, food intake, health and fitness; and referrals to other resources and assistance programs.
Farmers' Market Nutrition Education Program provides nutrition education at point-of-purchase for market goers. The program also provides on-site food demonstrations using fresh produce from the market, nutrition education, recipes, and nutrition data for foods sold at markets.
Food Demonstrations and Cooking Classes provide interactive instruction on healthy cooking techniques, modifying favorite recipes to include healthier ingredients by reducing the sugar, sodium, and fat. Classes are open to the general public.
Food Safety Education train food service workers in proper food handling procedures consistent with industry- and regulatory-based standards. An interactive format provides practical, hands-on experience for students to learn best practices to prevent food-borne illness and reduce sanitary health threats.
Kids Cooking Classes provide children aged 2-5 years with hands-on cooking experiences. Demonstration foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy, and protein. Research has shown that the more exposure preschool aged children have with healthy foods, the more likely they will be to engage in healthier lifestyle choices later in life.
Nutrition, Diet and Health Seminars are provided on range of topics and can be tailored to specific audience types including healthy and age-appropriate eating. Our educators include Registered (RD) and Licensed (LD) Dietitians and other food and nutrition experts.
Nutrition on Demand provides nutrition education upon the request of the community. Workshops and training sessions can be designed for any age group ranging from preschoolers to seniors and tailored to the health requirements of the requesting group. Using interactive cooking demonstrations, hands-on nutrition activities, grocery store tours, and seminars, Nutrition on Demand addresses a number of topics, including preventing chronic disease, understanding food labels, and planning meals based on USDA recommendations.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) provides education programs, behavior-change initiatives, and social marketing campaigns designed for individuals receiving or eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP-Ed programs and publications seek to increase healthy food and active lifestyle choices among District residents.
Team Nutrition Project works to improve children's lifelong eating and physical activity habits by providing training to child development centers and day care food service professionals. Funded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the training utilizes the curriculum developed for USDA's MyPlate program and supports the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The DC Team Nutrition Project Training Guide as well as videos, recipes, and other resources are provided to program participants.