Healthy Habits

Community Nutrition Education

Healthy Habits: Eating Well on a Budget is the community nutrition program of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Our team of culinary and nutrition professionals work directly with the Food Bank’s network of partner agencies and their guests to provide relevant, practical, and science-based nutrition information to the communities we serve. Through a variety of in-person and virtual outreach, Healthy Habits works to bridge the gap between food insecurity and health for the guests of our member agencies.

Our Offerings

Healthy Habits is currently accepting invitations to host classes, workshops, and cooking demonstrations at member agencies for guests, staff and volunteers. To learn more, contact Community Nutrition Manager, Flannery Sullivan at fsullivan@rifoodbank.org.

Highlight an ingredient, specific cultural cuisine, or let us choose a popular Healthy Habits recipe to demonstrate. These are best for agency guests who are waiting to shop at a pantry, enjoying a meal at a meal site, or at an event where a table can be set up.

The team offers many topics for a deeper dive into health and nutrition. Workshops are conducted at Food Bank member agencies. They last 1-2 hours and include:

  • Nutrition 101: Basics of Building a Healthy Lifestyle
  • Get the Facts: How to Read a Nutrition Facts Label
  • All Forms Count: Value of Fruits and Vegetables
  • Sugar Shockers: Uncovering Added Sugars
  • Good Grains: All About Whole Grains
  • Heart Health: Prevention and Management
  • Diabetes: Prevention and Management
  • Food Safety 101: Handling Food Safely
  • Food Too Good to Waste: Reducing Home Food Waste
  • Food Allergies 101: Navigating Food Allergies
  • Savvy Shoppers:  Shopping on a Budget

Nutrition education courses that last 4 to 6 weeks, for 1 to 2 hours per week. These classes include nutrition lessons, cooking demonstrations, food samplings, give-aways and a workbook. Classes include:

  • Healthy Living for Adults: Geared towards adults of any age, participants learn how to incorporate the components of a healthy diet, physical activity and budgeting tips into their daily lives.
  • Healthy Living for Adults Part 2: Building upon information covered in the previous series, topics include cooking for one or two, utilizing all forms of fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, canned) and meal planning for chronic diseases.
  • Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters: Geared towards families and caretakers with school age children and younger, participants learn the basics of a healthy diet, tips for getting kids involved in the kitchen, ideas on how to stay active as a family and food budgeting.
  • Learning with LANA: Our pre-school age curriculum focuses on trying new foods and teaches introductory nutrition topics using fun, interactive lessons with class mascot, Lana the Iguana.
  • Healthy Habits, Happy Kids: Created for elementary school-age kids and pre-teens, this program focuses on creating lifelong healthy habits through hands-on nutrition activities.
  • Healthy Chefs Academy: For elementary school age kids, this program focuses on developing practical, age-appropriate kitchen skills. Each class focuses on a new kitchen skill paired with a related nutrition lesson that further instills healthy eating behaviors. Children get a chance to practice their new kitchen skills by creating a new recipe each class.

Healthy Habits Recipes

Our Healthy Habits team develops delicious, seasonal recipes, using nutritious, cost-effective ingredients commonly found at our member agencies. Click the link to find more Healthy Habits favorites and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Healthy Habits Philosophies

Accessibility | Good nutrition is essential to good health. We provide relevant, tailored nutrition education, so that anyone can have the healthiest diet possible within their current circumstances.

All Food Fits | Assigning judgement to food can create disordered eating practices. A healthy, balanced diet includes a variety of foods in moderation and celebrates cultural preferences.

Health at Every Size | All bodies, regardless of their size, can be healthy. We do not focus on weight or weight loss to promote healthy habits. We measure health based on other indicators of well-being, such as diet quality and physical activity levels.

Whole Foods First | The nutrients found in whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods are more easily utilized by our bodies. We use whole foods wherever possible over heavily processed foods.

Meet the Healthy Habits Team

Our team of nutrition and culinary professionals brings healthy habits that last a lifetime to member agencies, schools, senior centers and more.

Yesenia Barnier

Director of Community Nutrition

ybarnier@rifoodbank.org

Yesenia Barnier

Flannery Sullivan

Community Nutrition Manager

Flannery Sullivan is the Community Nutrition Manager at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. She moved to Rhode Island from Maryland in 2016, following her love of feeding and taking care of others to study Culinary Nutrition at Johnson & Wales University. Flannery also received a Master of Science in Nutrition Education from American University in August of 2022. Flannery completed her nutrition internship with the Food Bank in the summer of 2019 where she realized how much she loved working, cooking and learning together with the different communities in Rhode Island. Shortly after graduating with her Bachelor of Science degree from JWU, became a full-time member of the nutrition education team at the Food Bank, taking on the role of manager in the summer of 2022.

Flannery Sullivan

Theresa Beeley

Community Nutrition Coordinator

Theresa Beeley is a Community Nutrition Coordinator at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. She was born and raised in Rhode Island, and graduated Johnson & Wales University in May of 2021 with a Bachelor’s in culinary nutrition. While at JWU, Theresa also got her degree in Baking and Pastry Arts, and has been working in the food industry since she was 16. Theresa did her senior internship in the Nutrition department at Miriam Hospital, and loves to work with people and their individualized nutrition needs.

Theresa Beeley