Healthy Eating, Healthy Living
The Fortune Works Healthy Eating, Healthy Living Group is a really popular activity at the service, and has been running for a number of years. The course was originally led by dieticians from the Glasgow Learning Disability Partnership in partnership with day service and health staff, users and carers. Initial funding came from NHS Health Scotland and local NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. The Scottish Government also provided further funding in order to pilot methods of providing healthy living messages that were accessible to people with learning disabilities.
Resources from the Scottish Government Healthy Living pack were used as the educational basis, and topics were extended to include the more specific health needs of people with learning disabilities taken from the Health Needs Assessment Report (NHS Health Scotland 2004). The core focus is healthy eating and exercise awareness.
The Healthy Living Group
The Healthy Living group usually consists of seven people and is led by a Support Worker from Fortune Works and a member of staff from the NHS Learning Disability Team and from the Health Improvement Team which – each supports the group on alternate weeks. The group format is flexible and inclusive and the sessions are usually two hours long. Sessions look at different food themes, such as sugar, fruit and vegetables, fat, fibre, salt, and food labelling.
The course is designed to be fun and interactive, and uses various resources including quizzes, DVDs, the eat-well mat, and food cards. This encourages everyone to get involved in the healthy living message. The different sessions also include how keeping active is also important to a healthy lifestyle.
The group also cooks healthy recipes that encourage participants to consider healthy alternatives to food that we enjoy, such as soups, sugar free desserts, baked apples, healthy pizzas, and pasta dishes. The group also visits shops to help people recognise which foods are healthier for us through labelling, using the traffic light system. The group finishes with a celebration to acknowledge everyone’s hard work, and certificates are awarded. The group has made all who take part interested in the Healthy Living message, and they try and make changes to their own lifestyles through the different topics they have covered, taking the message home to parents and carers.
Fortune Cookies is a baking group for service users. The group makes healthy biscuits or cakes that are sold in the diner to be sold at a low cost – this allows us to buy ingredients for the next week’s baking!
Service users learn various skills - they learn how to set the temperature on the oven for their special recipes. They use protective equipment to handle the hot trays and they have learned the importance of handwashing before beginning to bake. The group choose which recipes they would like to make and they make up laminated menus for each recipe. They have made scones, cookies, banana loaf and empire biscuits. The recipes are varied in order to learn different techniques used in baking and learn new skills in doing so.
Skills learned include working with weights and measures, different baking techniques, hygiene control and also cleaning working areas after use.