At Maynard Public Schools, school nutrition is vital to student success. The district’s Wellness Policy details the drive for promoting health, wellness, and nutrition education from the cafeteria to the classroom, as demonstrated by the School Nutrition Department. Partnering with Framingham State University, Food and Nutrition students teach nutrition lessons to students from Elementary to High School. While great practice for FSU students, Maynard schools also receive carefully designed nutrition lessons delivered straight to their classrooms.
On April 1, 2019, Graduate Nutrition Student Tori Hartford led a discussion concerning our relationship with food and intuitive eating through a lesson called “Body Talk: A Lesson in Mindful Eating”. For students in 8th grade, food choices are becoming more autonomic as they gain independence and begin their teenage years. It is crucial students be equipped with the correct knowledge to make their own decisions, especially as social media, which is not always a reliable resource, tends to holds significant influence among this population.
“Body Talk” was designed for this age group and geared towards addressing aspects like how our bodies, peers, and environment affect the food decisions we make.Students also participated in a mindful eating exercise in which, through an instructor-guided practice, they critically analyzed the internal and external cues at play while eating a piece of chocolate.
Though an exaggerated form of what mindful eating may look like in everyday life, students reported enjoying the exercise and felt it improved their comprehension of the topic by not only discussing the cues around food, but giving them an opportunity to experience those cues in real-time.
Looking for more nutrition education resources for your own classroom? Check out the tips and tools available at the John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University and the JSI Resource Center.
Submitted by Tori Hartford, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics