Students move, munch, read around MyPlate _lowres

Photo provided by Layne Langley -- Children attending the Bridge Institute at the Family Service Center in St. Francisville during June participated in health and nutrition lessons involving a story, activity and recipe, such as making Animal Bites using rice cakes, peanut butter, grapes and raisins.

Thanks to a partnership between Capital Area United Way and West Feliciana Parish Schools, the Family Service Center’s Head Start students in St. Francisville participated in the Bridge Institute during June. The enrichment program provides learning opportunities and helps children transition to prekindergarten.

LSU Agricultural Extension Agent Layne Langley met with the kids three times during the program to teach lessons about health and nutrition.

“Children form lifetime dietary habits at a very young age, so I used the ‘Happy, Healthy, Me … Moving, Munching and Reading Around MyPlate’ curriculum developed by the University of California’s Cooperative Extension Service to help them develop positive attitudes about food, physical activity, overall health and reading,” Langley said.

Each lesson included a story, activity and recipe, which they prepared together. For the MyPlate lesson, they listened to “Beastly Feast” and prepared a salad; “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” was the perfect book for a snack lesson and making edible butterflies with waffles, bananas, kiwi and strawberries; and “From Head to Toe” provided the move lesson and a recipe for Animal Bites — rice cakes, peanut butter, grapes and raisins.

For information about LSU AgCenter nutrition programs, contact Langley at (225) 635-3614 or