Nutrition taught to Spanish speaking families - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Nutrition taught to Spanish speaking families

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April 6, 2004

Colquitt County - We learn about nutrition in America, but not all countries teach good habits in the kitchen. In a growing Hispanic community, experts have hit the road to spread the nutrition word in Spanish.

Mailyn Perez won the lottery, not the cash lottery, but a ticket to move from Cuba to America. She explains, "It's a letter they say, 'congratulations you can come to the United States' and I can bring my children and my husband too."

Perez and her family came to Colquitt County two years ago, her English non-existent. She says, "I didn't know English before I came."

Perez makes house calls in Colquitt County and teaches nutrition in Hispanic communities. She laughs, "Yes, I love it."

The Cuban landed the job with the Colquitt County Extension Agency. On Tuesday, she talked food safety with a mother, Angelica Romulo, in a language she's comfortable with. [

In Spanish, she tells the families the importance of preparing food and washing hands. Perez says Hispanics are at high risk for diabetes. She adds, "When they learn about food and nutrition they can change their diet in their life."

Hopefully, those life lessons will be passed onto future generations.

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, also known as EFNEP, is paid for with a USDA grant.

posted at 5:45PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com