On July 3rd, KOM had its last nutritional class for the season.
The day was spent making and drinking smoothies as well as learning the importance of incorporating exercise into our daily lives.
To end it, they had a friendly food competition at East Side Freedom Library.
The dish was, Ta ker paw, also known as rice porridge or congee.
Each individual has their own unique way of making Ta ker paw, but it is typically made with white rice or glutenous rice. It is cooked for a long period of time in liquid until the rice has disintegrated a bit and the broth has thickened. Side dishes are often eaten along with this dish.
The challenge was to substitute white rice for its healthier alternative brown rice.
Brown rice is a whole grain and contains more nutritional benefits than white rice.
It has also been shown to help reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and reduce weight gain.
Not a lot of research has been done to identify the statistics of common health risks among the Karen population in the Minnesota. It is still a work in progress but they are a population that is highly vulnerable to diseases.
Diet plays a major role in our health risks and refugees who have come to the states have often changed their diet as a result in the change in environment and accessibility to certain foods. This has often caused them to be more at risk to new diseases they’ve never encounter before when living back home.
Rice is a staple part of the Karen’s diet along with meat and vegetables, but fast food meals has also been incorporated into their daily diet.
KOM offers these nutrition classes to the Karen community in partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension Office of Ramsey County.
Education on nutrition is key to helping the Karen community take control of their lives and their health. KOM looks forward to continuing this nutritional workshops in the future.
To learn more about how you can help support KOM’s programs and workshops click here.