Third Graders at Dedham’s Oakdale Elementary School Taste the Rainbow

The Dedham Public School district is dedicated to their Wellness Policy and strives to provide students with both the knowledge and ability to make dietary decisions to sustain a healthy lifestyle using a comprehensive approach.

Kiara Brown educated 3rd grade students about the importance of a colorful diet.

FSU graduate student dietitian Kiara Brown educated 3rd graders at Oakdale Elementary School about the importance of eating a colorful diet by taste testing some unique fruits and vegetables.

To adhere to their policy, Dedham integrates nutrition education into curriculum at all grade levels and holds activities involved in meal service and physical education, that facilitate long term health, well-being, and the ability to learn. The School Nutrition department has partnered with Framingham State University’s Food and Nutrition Coordinated Program in Dietetics to allow student dietitians the opportunity to provide nutrition lessons to Dedham Public School students.

This November, Framingham State University dietetic graduate student, Kiara Brown, met with third graders in the Oakdale Elementary School and shared messages about the benefits of consuming a varied diet. The idea of a varied diet is supported in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provides dietary and physical activity recommendations for Americans with the goal of health maintenance and chronic disease prevention throughout one’s life.

The activity was part of a lesson focused on recognizing the role of food in keeping our body healthy and fueled. The class then learned about the nutrients in different color foods and their specific roles in our bodies. Next, third graders poked, smelled, and tasted three colorful foods: pomegranate, avocado and star fruit. Students also identified the function that food has in keeping them healthy and discussed how they could incorporate more colors in their meals at home. Students enjoyed interacting with the food samples and were excited to learn about the different jobs their favorite fruits and vegetables have in their body.

To explore more nutrition education resources and get inspired with ways to improve nutrition education in Massachusetts, visit The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University’s JSI Resource Center.

Submitted by: Kiara Brown; FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics.