Julie Fromm: Teaching Healthy Eating Skills to Detroit Residents eating

Julie Fromm, RD

Julie Fromm grabs two pieces of bread — one white and one whole-wheat — and places each of them in a glass of orange juice. Her students watch as the white bread falls apart in minutes while the whole-wheat bread stays intact.

Simple, hands-on demonstrations like these reinforce her lessons on healthy eating, even on a tight budget: Whole-wheat bread may cost more than white bread, but it is more nourishing and will keep a family satisfied longer.

Fromm is the community dietitian for Generation with Promise, a Henry Ford Health System program that teaches Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters curriculum to low-income Detroit residents in churches and schools.

Partially funded through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, each class lasts six weeks. One of Fromm’s favorite activities is taking a field trip to a grocery store. Participants are challenged to feed a family of four for less than $10 a day by selecting foods from each of the five MyPlate food groups.

“From the start, we get rid of the notions that you have to buy organic or only cook with sea salt and extra-virgin olive oil,” says Fromm. “It’s all about meeting people where they’re at.”

Since she joined in 2011, the Generation with Promise program has grown, and has conducted more than 30 class series in the past nine months. For Fromm, an RD and culinary school grad, her job is a perfect fit. “I have two degrees and I’m using both of them every day,” she says. “It’s a dream job.”

“We are out in the community. We’re not asking people come to us — we go to them,” says Fromm. “‘One person at a time,’ is what we always say. Our goal is to reach every person in the Detroit area.”

Food & Nutrition Magazine
Food & Nutrition Magazine publishes articles on food and diet trends, highlights of nutrition research and resources, updates on public health issues and policy initiatives related to nutrition, and explorations of the cultural and social factors that shape Americans’ diets and health.