Monthly Archives: February 2019

Webster Public School Students Learn the Science and Nutrition of Kale

In line with the Webster Public School’s Wellness Policy, the food service department aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students.   As a recipient of the USDA Farm to School grant the district can integrate agricultural education into the classroom through locally grown and seasonal foods.  To help support this goal, Framingham State University (FSU) student dietitian, Shanna Fontaine created and presented a nutrition education lesson, Kale-atomy, based on the anatomy of November’s Mass Harvest of the Month to the third graders at Park Ave Elementary School in November, 2018.

Dinosaur Kale rubbing, created and labeled by third-grade student at Webster’s Park Ave Elementary School.

This investigative lesson helped students become familiar with the vegetable kale, which some students have never heard of before.

The third-grade library class participated in a True and False activity to identify kale’s plant family, number of varieties, years of existence, and harvest properties.  After learning of the background, each student received a kale leaf, made a leaf rubbing, and as a class labeled each part of the kale leaf.

Shanna Fontaine, Student Dietitian, leading a group activity, labeling parts of our bodies that are similar to parts of kale

Once the activity was complete, the students were surprised to learn that kale leaves are like parts of the human body.  For each part of the kale leaf, the student learned of a structure of the human body that is similar, along with the vitamins or minerals found in kale that help keep that part of the body healthy.  For example, the stem is like our bones, which helps support our body and the mineral calcium is found in kale that helps support our bones.

Seeking more resources on farm and sea to school? Visit the JSI Resource Center for additional information and lesson plans to help integrate Harvest of the Month education into your district’s nutrition education.

Submitted by: Shanna Fontaine,  FSU Undergraduate Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

Hanover High School Learns About Sports Nutrition

On November 26, 2018, Framingham State University student dietitians Gabriella Musto and Jennifer O’Brien presented “Exercise and Sports Performance Nutrition” to 11th and 12th graders of Hanover Public Schools. Promoting balanced nutrition and healthy habits  is vital to students and their overall health, as detailed in the district’s Wellness Policy. Reducing rates of obesity and promoting student wellness can be achieved through advocating for nutrition education and physical activity.

Gabriella Musto identifying healthier snacks for Athletes

About 81% of the students attending Hanover High School are athletes, making this presentation ideal for this population. Hanover Public School’s collaboration with Framingham State University has allowed student dietitians to educate the students on various topics related to sports nutrition. Topics such as pre- and post-workout nutrition and how to properly fuel your body with food to achieve optimal athletic performance were discussed.

Activities were used to help the students apply what was learned during the class. Students actively participated in a Kahoot quiz game and completed a worksheet titled “Give Me Energy!” where they brainstormed snacks that could be prepared as pre- or post-workout fuel. During the Q&A portion of the presentation, students were engaged in discussions and asked questions regarding various nutrition topics.

Interested in learning more about wellness and nutrition education in schools? Visit The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University. The JSI Resource Center and USDA have resources and information that are useful for school nutrition programs.

Submitted by: Gabriella Musto, Framingham State University Food and Nutrition Graduate Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics.