Moore Family Center makes healthy choices accessible
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 01:01
The year 2013 comes with New Year’s resolutions, largely related to nutrition and exercise. Aiming to help students with their health initiatives, the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventative Health continues this term to offer and plan services for OSU students of all disciplines.
“For the first time in years, we eat more of our calories in non-meal occasions than in planned meals, and receive twice as many calories from beverages,” said Dr. Mary Cluskey, associate professor of nutrition. “This indicates the ways in which our health patterns has changed.”
The College of Public Health and Human Sciences opened the center for fall term after receiving a $5 million gift from Bob and Charlee Moore, founders of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods. In less than a year, leaders of OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences have reimagined the college’s potential. Faculty apportioned the funds to instate new facilities and will hire an endowed professor and fund research for graduate students.
The center will continue to offer cooking classes for all students, with three classes scheduled this term. Faculty have designed these classes to help students with basic cooking and health tips on using fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein in homemade meals.
“Students liked the classes and appreciated becoming familiar with foods they wouldn’t have tried,” Cluskey said. “Many students haven’t been exposed to many food options, and don’t know how to make healthy meals for themselves.”
A portion of the Moore family’s donation funneled into renovation of classrooms for these hands-on cooking classes, including newly-constructed kitchens opening onto the classroom floors. These classrooms will be put to use in a full-day, public health dieticians’ workshop in February. According to Cluskey, the classrooms will also serve students for conducting nutrition studies, observing students’ food preferences through mock menus and food presentations.
“We’ll ask them which foods they’d choose,” Cluskey said. “Most people don’t focus on nutrients in the food they eat, but think of food as relating to whether the food tastes good or whether the food is natural.”
Cluskey and Emily Ho, endowed director for the Moore Family Center, have planned for dietetics students to serve as dietary consultants for the OSU community. Services would include weight assessments, consultations and body mass index analyses. Currently, only one registered dietician handles appointments on campus.
“Writing down eating habits, keeping track [of food intake] and having someone to hold yourself accountable to are important for making diet changes,” Cluskey said.
According to Cluskey, the college’s services should assist students in their New Year’s resolutions or health plans. Cluskey’s advice for health changes include consciousness of eating habits and setting realistic goals. Cluskey noted the smartphone applications MyFitnessPal and SparkPeople as means of food journaling.
“The frequency of eating has increased over time and now many people feel too busy to eat,” Cluskey said. “These applications and acceptance of healthy foods can keep people healthy.”
The Moore Family Center’s cooking classes will be held on Jan. 23, Feb. 13 and Feb. 27, with more information available on their website. Spots are still available for this term and each class requires a deposit of $5, refunded upon attendance.
Jack Lammers, news editor
On Twitter @jacklammers