By Kimberly Cooper
Travis Ramirez, University of Houston Dining Services dietitian, will collaborate with BOUNCE for a three-part nutrition series at the University of Houston-Downtown recreation center beginning July 25.
BOUNCE – short for Behavior Opportunities Uniting Nutrition Counseling and Exercise – is an initiative from the UH College of Education to empower minority middle school girls between the ages of 9 and 14 and their families to live a healthy lifestyle. This year, Ramirez will collaborate with the BOUNCE team to host the three-part series, which will include nutrition education and cooking demonstrations.
“Our nutrition series will teach participants how to select a lean protein and choose a complex carbohydrate. It also will include a smoothie competition,” said Ramirez.
He will lead a protein demonstration July 25 and a carbohydrate and fiber course July 27.
“Participants will learn what a lean protein is and how to identify the various types of protein options found in simple meals,” said Ramirez. “The key to each session is for the participants to incorporate these nutrition changes into their everyday lives.”
Each participant will also learn the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates during the carbohydrate and fiber course.
“The difference between complex and simple carbohydrates are the complex carbs will provide a sustainable source of energy over a long duration of time,” said Ramirez. “My goal is to enhance the participants’ knowledge of complex carbohydrate selections and make the transition to whole grain choices on a daily basis easier.”
The final portion of the nutrition series will feature the smoothie competition Aug. 4.
“Each participant will build their own unique smoothie recipe,” said Ramirez. “We will host a few guest judges to vote on the best smoothie.”
The BOUNCE program will also offer nutrition classes for parents to enjoy every Friday during the program.
“Our goal is to increase the overall knowledge for both parents and students so everyone in the household is making a healthy choice together,” said Ramirez. “As part of the BOUNCE program, we gear the recipes and presentations so the participants walk away with valuable knowledge that can be applied to their everyday lives.”