Throughout the school year, towns affiliated with the Hockomock YMCA’s three locations are given the opportunity for their third graders to become Nutrition Detectives. Nutrition Detectives is an evidence-based curriculum developed by Dr. David Katz with the help of his five children. In this program, students are introduced to five clues which can be used in the supermarket and at home to help determine which foods are ‘take it’ (healthy) foods, and which are ‘leave it’ (not so healthy) foods.
Third graders are targeted for this program because studies have shown that they are the most receptive age group to these ideas. So far this school year, third grade students in Franklin, Foxboro, and North Attleboro have taken steps to becoming certified Nutrition Detectives. In the second half of this school year, more sessions will be scheduled in surrounding communities. The program is fun and interactive and provides students with skills to make great food choices for the rest of their lives. FSU Food and Nutrition student, Kiara Brown, had a chance to assist in teaching with these 3rd graders as part of her internship at the Hockomock YMCA and had as much fun as the students!
The Nutrition Detectives program includes about an hour long lesson, which can be done as a whole or broken into two sessions. In the lesson(s), the five clues are explained and students are given the chance use their skills and practice reading real food labels and ingredient lists. After completion, the new Nutrition Detectives are awarded certificates of completion, as well as a take home letter to explain to parents and guardians how to continue the skills at home if desired.
More information concerning the Nutrition Detectives program can be found on Dr. Katz’s webpage. To learn how you can get Nutrition Detectives started in your community, contact Marykate Bergen, the Community Health and Wellness Director of the Hockomock YMCAs, at email@example.com. Ideas for additional nutrition-related lessons for grades K-12 can be found in The John C. Stalker Institute Resource Center.
~Blog written by: Kiara Brown, B.S., FSU Undergraduate Food and Nutrition Student, Hockomock YMCA Fall Intern