Milford Public Schools is dedicated to building a healthy school environment that supports wellness and nutrition. The district enforces their Wellness Policy by facilitating learning experiences that teach students healthy habits. On November 26th, Milford Public Schools teamed up with Framingham State University’s (FSU) Coordinated Program in Dietetics and invited Graduate student dietitian, Marissa Silver, to teach eighth grade students at Stacy Middle School how to make small changes to fast food purchases to minimize excess calories, sugar, saturated fat and sodium.Submitted by: Marissa Silver, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics.
The lesson started with students learning about the recent federal mandate requiring chain restaurants, like fast food restaurants, to post calorie information in-store. Next, students learned about the general dietary recommendations for caloric intake, sodium, added sugar and saturated fat. This information provided students with reference numbers so they could see how fast food menus compared.
Students were then divided into groups and given pictures of popular fast food items with the corresponding nutrition information. Students ordered all items from highest to lowest in terms of calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar. Students discussed themes among the highest and lowest ranked items. Students noticed that higher value items were often fried or were larger in size.
Next, the class discussed simple ways they could modify a fast food order to make it healthier. Students suggested ordering a water versus a soda or choosing something grilled versus fried.
To conclude the lesson, students were reminded that even a small modification to a fast food selection can make a big difference.
For more information on improving nutrition education in schools, visit The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition’s Resource Center.
Submitted by: Marissa Silver, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics.