Harvest Day—A Veggie Experience

Jodie Pompa in the News: Harvest Day – A Veggie Experience

Editor’s Note: The following was written by Jodie Lindsay Popma. Jodie is the mother of two boys and a parent advocate for school food reform at her school district in Longmont, Colorado. You can find out more about Jodie on her website Smart Food Made Simple.

I have always been passionate about healthy food, espeically from local farms. When I had children, my passion became a necessary way of life. I wanted to feed my family nutrient-dense, local food whenever possible. We took weekly trips to the farmers market in Longmont and we made planting gardens a family event. Then, my son entered elementary school, and noticed fresh, local produce was not on the menu.

In the summer of 2015, St Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD) in Longmont, Colorado created a healthy foods task force to promote healthy eating in school. As a nutritionist, I jumped at the opportunity to join this effort to learn more about nutrition services and provide a voice for change. This is when I met the School Wellness Coordinator, Sarah Harter. In our discussion, we spoke about Flagstaff Academy Charter School’s geodesic dome and greenhouse program. The geodesic dome was one of the reasons we chose that school for both of my children and because of the unique structure, Sarah thought Flagstaff would be the perfect fit for the Project Produce Grant from the Chef Ann Foundation. With the grant, we could develop a program that showcased the school’s dome and greenhouse alongside the local farming community, all while educating students about eating healthier and regionally.


Starting in preschool, students learn about soil health and how it correlates to healthy food and the greenhouse classes are always a favorite among the students. The kids love watching the tomatoes, radishes, sweet peas, spinach and other vegetables grow in a school environment.

The only problem with the program was when it came to tasting what they helped grow—there wasn’t enough for all of the students to sample their harvest.

Project Produce provided us with a great opportunity to collaborate with nutrition services, local farms, and the school to create sampling events that reached all of the students. Many at Flagstaff consider Ollin Farms to be our local school farm. This amazing, organically biodiverse farm is located so close to the school, preschoolers walk there once a year for a field trip!

Farmers Mark and Kena Guttridge’s daughters attended Flagstaff and they are always eager to give back to the school community. It seemed like a natural fit to partner with Ollin Farms to further the Project Produce grant program.

Read the Complete Article at Chef Ann Foundation

times call press for jodie pompa

Jodie Pompa in the News: St. Vrain Valley School District program wins ‘One in a Melon’ award

Jodie Pompa recently was in an article by Times-Call, take a look below!

In business attire and high heels, Angela Tagtow, a high-ranking government official from Washington, D.C., is not your typical substitute teacher, but kindergartners in her nutrition mini-class at Flagstaff Academy didn’t seem to notice.

As executive director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion at the United States Department of Agriculture, Tagtow oversees federal dietary guidelines, including the iconic food pyramid that was replaced in 2010 by the “MyPlate” icon for healthy eating.

On Monday, Tagtow and other USDA officials visited the St. Vrain Valley School District’s Farm to School program, winner of the USDA’s first “One in a Melon” contest for the state of Colorado, which was determined by the votes of parents, teachers, students and others.

USDA launched Farm to School in 2010 to increase the use of local foods in the national school lunch program and in nutrition education. Forty-two percent of Colorado districts participate, including Boulder Valley, Denver and Jefferson County.

The tour also included Olde Columbine, an alternative high school, and the Career Development Center, both in Longmont.

Read the full story at TimesCall.com

It’s All About Breakfast

Originally published on Family-Garden.org website

good day
The sun rises, our alarms wake us (for parents, a child is breathing too close to your face) then the inevitable demands for food echo the halls. How do we feed our family when we are almost too tired to make it to the kitchen and what do we feed our kids so they aren’t starving in an hour? Or, if they are headed for school how can we feed them so they can pay attention and learn?
If this seems like a heavy burden for parents, it is. But why is breakfast so important, especially for children? Breakfast education pioneer, Dr J. Michael Murray of Massachusetts General Hospital states “children who skip breakfast do more poorly on virtually any measure – whether its standardized test scores, cognitive test scores, nutrition, obesity or health.” We can conclude that what we feed our children impacts their energy, behavior and attention. Parents need to understand that food is an incredibly powerful tool for overall childhood success.
Now that we understand how important breakfast is, what should we feed our kids to ensure strong minds and bodies?
Let’s look at the 3 macro nutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. These are essential for life and work together in a nutritional symphony.
When we think of the traditional breakfast, often times we visualize TV commercials with carbohydrate heavy meals that include cereal (mostly carbs and sugar), toast (carbs) and juice (sugar). We need to change our thinking when it comes to breakfast.
Carbohydrates turn to sugar in the body which creates blood glucose. Too many carbs without balancing macro nutrients is stressful for the body and can cause inflammation, increased heart rate, high blood sugar, increased adrenaline and hyperactivity. If we consume high amounts of carbohydrates early in the morning the body will burn them off quickly, and crashes will occur.
Protein is important at breakfast because it keeps the body feeling full longer, it takes the body longer to digest protein. Protein is important for developing and maintaining lean muscle. It also helps balance blood sugar, when it drops crashes occur.
Fat is important because it helps strengthen bones, feeds the brain and improves overall liver and lung health. It also helps the body utilize fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K (they are dissolved in fat before they enter the bloodstream to carry out their functions). Fat slows down nutrient absorption to help bodies feel full longer. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) like Omega-3 are critical for brain health. EFAs help children pay attention, improves their focus and behavior. Stay away from processed fats found in fast food, shortening and margarine, as they are void of all nutritional value and stress the body (which gets confused when trying to digest).
What can we feed our children that supports their nutritional needs and is easy?

Chia Coconut Pudding:







Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Omelet:






Tropical Overnight Oatmeal:






Healthy Breakfast Cookies:






Jodie Lindsay Popma is a mother of 2 boys and lives in Longmont. She is a Holistic Nutritionist, Nutritional Educator and School Food Advocate. To learn more about Jodie visit www.smartfoodmadesimple.com

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LiveWell Longmont

Smart Food Made Simple in the News!

We are honored that LiveWell Longmont recently featured us in their newsletter! Take a look at the full newsletter here!


July: Have a Fresh and Healthy Fourth!

Backyard barbeques, bright and cheery parades, bold and brilliant fireworks displays...July truly comes in with a bang, and we love it! As always, we're thrilled to be basking in the summertime glow among the many#HealthyLongmont healthy eating and active living celebrations, resources, and opportunities. Share a glimpse of your #HealthyLongmont for a chance to win fun, exciting prizes; check out our Call to Action for details, plus ideas for a fresh and fabulous 4th. Many thanks to all who have shared and inspired in this month's LWL e-news. We're always doing our best to keep up with health and wellness opportunities on our website calendar and blog. Stop on by!

Meet: Jodie Popma

jodie pompaHolistic nutritional consultant and educator, Jodie Popma doesn’t do things halfway. Since bidding farewell to her job of 16 years as a developer with IBM, she has: gone back to school; launched her own business; applied for and received a  grant for schools; developed healthy foods classes for kids and parents. And that's just for starters.

Our #HealthyLongmont’s Got the Ride Stuff

4b4c3e7d-10ea-4c04-be05-a0b3734baf1bJune may be officially designated Bike Month in Colorado, but you won’t need to look far for ways to celebrate cycling all year long in Longmont. Here’s a sampling of what our #HealthyLongmont has to offer this summer, continuing the rhythm of great riding beyond Bike Month.

One in a Melon, for a Melon and One Reasons

02bd1ab9-d48d-4d55-8567-5f613626d374SVVSD, we’ve always said we love you berry much. In fact, we’re bananas for you, and we especially love the careful and inspired way Nutrition Services prioritizes local, fresh, healthy foods. And, we’re far from the only ones who think you're doing a grape job. Congrats on being honored as the Colorado recipient for the USDA “One in a Melon” award!

Call to Action: Have a Happy, #HealthyLongmont 4th!

3468a238-b5b1-4a25-b730-6378b481be3fFireworks! Sparklers! Barbeques! Parades! Who can resist claiming Independence Day as a pulsing day of great fun? A lot of outdoor play and a  little indulgence are easily in reach without caving in on your healthy habits. Here, ideas for making your 4th fresh, fit and fabulous (share your celebrations on our Facebook page, or email us, for a chance to win fun prizes, too)!