Julie Carstens has been hired as a youth nutrition associate educator and is the latest addition to the Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach in Polk County team. Carstens will primarily implement the Kids in the Kitchen program, a hands-on youth nutrition program based on the MyPlate guidelines and serves children who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program.
“In order for children to learn, you need to engage them in the activity being taught, even when it can be messy. I’m excited that I get to be part of a program and work with a team that understands the importance of incorporating hands-on learning,” Carstens said.
The youth nutrition educator will implement the Kids in the Kitchen program over the course of seven weeks. Youth are engaged in physical activities and learn how to prepare recipes while learning about nutrition, kitchen safety, and active living. Youth will have the opportunity to make healthy snacks and learn how to clean and cut produce and use various cooking utensils safely.
Carstens' educational background falls within family sciences and has additional expertise in finance and compliance. She has experience planning and working with the United Way of Central Iowa at diverse neighborhood events. Programs included activities for all age ranges to promote a safer and more engaging community. Carstens resides in Bondurant and is a mother and grandmother that enjoys sharing the love of cooking and baking with her 25 grandchildren.
About Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Polk County
For over 100 years, ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County has served its residents by connecting them to research and resources developed by Iowa State University. Knowledge and programs offered through the ISU Extension Polk County office have been specifically tailored to represent, enhance, and meet the needs of Polk County residents and community. For 2022 ISU Extension in Polk County will focus on local issues including: K-12 youth outreach; family and food; and agriculture and the environment. ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County is a part of a 99-county campus backed by research to serve all Iowans to create a strong Iowa.