Are you from Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic or Trinidad & Tobago? A group of nutrition and fitness advocates need your advice, and they are offering a $25 gift card for your time.

The group is rewriting “healthy eating” information to give it a Caribbean flavor. To do that, they need eight volunteers from each of the five countries. The volunteers will attend a focus group meeting and give opinions on how to make cooking demonstrations, brochures and nutrition lessons more meaningful to island folks.

It’s called the Caribbean Diaspora Healthy Nutrition Outreach Project, led by Nova Southeastern University’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine (NSU MD).

NSU MD and community partners from the Nutrition and Fitness Task Force of Broward believe that the typical advice on healthy eating does not ring a bell with many Caribbean people. Why? Because it often promotes eating vegetables, fruits, grains, lean meat and dairy products that they don’t know.

The group wants to change the message. They say island folks would listen more to nutrition advice if it focused on healthy foods that are familiar, or if an expert showed them how to substitute healthier ingredients for foods they love.

For example, cook healthy meals with callaloo as well as kale or spinach. Make picadillo with shredded turkey instead of beef. Use lean ham, multi-grain bread and lower-fat cheese to make a healthier media noche sandwich from Cuba. Mix grated cauliflower with white rice.

“People from the Caribbean would be much more receptive to cooking and eating healthy if they recognize the foods or if they learn how to use healthy ingredients in their recipes,” says Farzanna Haffizulla, M.D., Principal Investigator in the project.

The idea for the project came from the task force, led by the Florida Department of Health in Broward (DOH-Broward). Dr. Haffizulla, a native of Trinidad who is NSU MD’s Assistant Dean for Community & Global Health, secured a $15,000 NSU Quality of Life Grant to make it happen.

After the focus groups give their advice, members of the task force will hit the streets to do cooking demonstrations, presentations on nutrition and to distribute flyers and brochures.

Each of the five focus groups will meet from noon to 3:30 p.m.:
Haiti – Friday, August 17, 2018, Broward Regional Health Planning Council (BRHPC) in Hollywood.
Jamaica – Tuesday, August 21, 2018, Alvin Sherman Library at NSU in Davie.
Dominican Republic – Tuesday, August 28, 2018, DOH-Broward in Fort Lauderdale.
Cuba – Friday, September 7, 2018, Tyrone Bryant Library in Fort Lauderdale.
Trinidad & Tobago – Monday, September 10, 2018, BRHPC in Hollywood.

To volunteer: Contact NSU at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Haz clic para leer en Español: Caribeños: Obtengan una tarjeta de regalo al hablar de como comer saludable

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