Tag Archives: Nutrition Education

Andover High School Students Learn How to Eat Mindfully

Andover Public Schools is a leader in their health education. The food service department and teachers work hard to ensure students are provided nutrition education to help them carry healthy habits outside of the classroom. It is part of the goal of the Andover School wellness policy to gear health education toward personal behaviors and habits, to resist peer and wider pressures to make unhealthy choices, and to emphasize learning and practicing skills students need for healthy living.

In making these wellness policy goals a reality, Andover has partnered with Framingham State University and their Coordinated Program in Dietetics to provide nutrition education to their students.

FSU Student Dietitian Taelyr Hair teaching students about the importance of eating mindfully to enjoy food and avoid overeating.

FSU Student Dietitian Taelyr Hair teaching students about the importance of eating mindfully to enjoy food and avoid overeating.

Student dietitian Taelyr Hair taught high school students at Andover the art of eating mindfully by using all five senses to enjoy food, practice healthy skills, and work on their personal habits and behaviors. Many students identified issues with overeating while playing on their phone or watching TV. Most of the students had never heard of mindful eating, and this new way of thinking about their food surprised them. Students participated in an activity in which they had to mindfully eat a snack food and report descriptions for each of their five senses when experiencing the snack. By the end of the lesson, all of the students had come up with multiple descriptions for each of their senses and expressed that they liked the idea of putting more focus on their food experiences, and slowing down while eating.

To explore more resources on mindful eating and other interesting lesson plans to implement in your school, please visit The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition resource center.

Submitted by: Taelyr Hair FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics.  

Needham Middle School Students Learned About Food Marketing

Framingham State University Coordinated Program in Dietetics student Nicole Minnelli and Rebecca Drown partnered up with 7th grade health classes at Pollard Middle School in Needham, Massachusetts. As stated in Needham’s wellness policy and in the health education curriculum, the goal of the program is to promote healthy behaviors and a dedication to wellness. Needham Nutrition Services supports nutrition education by offering unlimited fruits and vegetables with a meal.

Nicole taught the 7th grade students about food marketing through a lesson called “Design a Cereal.” The lesson included an overview of how people are influenced, or deceived, by marketing on food products. Using cereal boxes, students worked in groups to discuss which marketing strategies such as colors, slogans or health claims were used to entice the buyer to purchase that specific cereal. The students were also asked, just by looking at the box, if they thought this was a healthy cereal choice.

“Fruit Cubes,” a colorful cereal box designed by some of the students, who also used Rob Gronkowski as their sponsor!

“Fruit Cubes,” a colorful cereal box designed by some of the students, who also used Rob Gronkowski as their sponsor!

Students learned what to look for when purchasing a cereal and how to read a nutrition facts label to detect a healthy cereal even when the outside of the box might disagree. Students discussed protein, fiber and sugar in relation to healthy cereals.

Each group then created a healthy cereal on their iPads using marketing strategies discussed. The creativity from these students made for a fun, interactive lesson while they used key nutrition information learned earlier in their lesson to design a healthy cereal.

Students stated they had fun during this lesson and felt like they learned something as well.

To find lesson plans and ways to incorporate nutrition education in the classroom, visit The John Stalker Institute Resource Center for ideas.

Submitted by: Nicole Minnelli, Food and Nutrition Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

Milford Public School Students Learn About MyPlate

The Milford Public School district is dedicated to their Wellness Policy and aims to provide their students with nutrition education and the knowledge that will help them to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Also, the school’s  Nutrition Program page provides Newsletters for parents that have information about the harvest of the month and healthy recipes. To further the promotion of their Health and Wellness Policy, Milford Public Schools has partnered with Framingham State University’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics to provide appropriate nutrition lessons to Milford Public School students.

In the Spring of 2019, Framingham State University student Sara El-Rifai taught second grade students at Memorial Elementary School in Milford, MA. She taught the students about MyPlate and the importance of incorporating all five food groups into their diets through a lesson titled “MyPlate, Myself”. During the lesson, students learned about the five food groups and examples of food that belong to each of the food groups.

Framingham State University student dietitian Sara El-Rifai educated 2nd graders at Memorial Elementary School about the five food groups and MyPlate.

Framingham State University student dietitian Sara El-Rifai educated 2nd graders at Memorial Elementary School about the five food groups and MyPlate.

For an activity, students were given different food cards and were asked to think about which food group their food belongs to. Students were also able to color in their own MyPlate and draw down their favorite foods from each food group. Students were excited to learn about the five food groups and MyPlate and they enjoyed the activities.

For more information regarding nutrition education and amazing education resources visit The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University and the  JSI resource center

Submitted by: Sara El-Rifai Framingham State University Graduate Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program.

Watertown Public School Students Learn About the Five Food Groups and MyPlate

Watertown Public Schools is committed to the optimal development of every student. Therefore, the district works toward ensuring that each student has access to healthful foods, physical activity, adequate hydration, and quality nutrition education to help them develop lifelong healthful eating habits.

To further provide quality nutrition education, Watertown Public Schools has partnered with Framingham State University Coordinated Program in Dietetics. On Monday, April 8th, the students of Lowell Elementary extended day program welcomed student dietitian Samantha Manero to discuss the five food groups and MyPlate.

Figure 1: Framingham State University student dietitian Samantha Manero educating second graders at Lowell Elementary School about the five food groups and MyPlate

Framingham State University student dietitian Samantha Manero educating second graders at Lowell Elementary School about the five food groups and MyPlate

The second-grade students gathered on the carpet in front of a large white board. The lesson began with a song, “Alive With Five Groups,” and the students were instructed to listen carefully and report back with the five groups once the song ended. Samantha then led a discussion regarding each group and the nutrients that each group provides. The students then went around in a circle giving examples of their favorite foods and the group worked together to determine which parts of each food fell into each food group, or section of MyPlate. By the end of the lesson, each student understood which food group most foods belong to.

Samantha has helped to implement the nutrition education aspect of Watertown Public School’s Wellness Policy by providing age appropriate lessons regarding food and nutrition. A great deal of nutrition resources and lesson plans are available at The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition Resource Center for students and educators to utilize.

Submitted by: Samantha Manero, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics

Needham Public School Students Learn About Food Marketing

Needham Public School’s wellness policy outlines its commitment to providing students the education necessary to make lifestyle choices that promote optimal health and well-being throughout their entire lives. Needham Public Schools has adopted a six-dimensional wellness model focusing on social, emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, and occupational/leisure health. Needham Public School’s food service department promotes students’ nutritional health by offering unlimited fruits and vegetables at all meals.

In April of 2019, Framingham State University Coordinated Program in Dietetics student Rebecca Drown presented a nutrition lesson about food marketing to seventh graders. Through the examination of cereal boxes, students learned about marketing strategies used by food companies to target different audiences. Students then had an opportunity to utilize classroom technology to create and present a marketing strategy for their own brand of cereal.

“Don’t be fooled” handout used to encourage students to think critically about the nutritional content of their food.

“Don’t be fooled” handout used to encourage students to think critically about the nutritional content of their food.

After exploring the persuasive power of food marketing, students were encouraged to turn to the   nutrition facts label to make well informed decisions about food purchases. Students were given the “don’t be fooled!”  handout, which provided criteria for picking a healthy cereal. Using the same cereal boxes as before, students examined the nutrition facts label and determined if the cereal met the criteria or not.

Identifying, and being cognizant of food marketing strategies is a skill students will be able to take with them and implement for the rest of their lives. Having these skills will allow students to make more informed, nutritionally sound decisions about the food they purchase.

For more information on how to bring engaging nutrition education to your school district, visit the John Stalker Institute’s Resource Center.

Submitted by Rebecca Drown, Food and Nutrition Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

“Andover High Schoolers Re-think Their Drinks”

Andover High School promotes nutrition education through initiatives set forth by their wellness policy; the goal of which is to set students up with life-long healthy habits by providing a nutritious food environment, and incorporating nutrition education into the health curriculum.

In an effort to further the nutrition education provided within the school system, Andover Public Schools has partnered with the  Framingham State Coordinated Program in Dietetics to provide health classrooms with lessons created, and directed by student dietitians.

Framingham graduate student/student dietitian Tim Boykov educating Andover High-schoolers on added sugars

One such lesson was led by student dietitian, Tim Boykov, on April 8th; a class of 9th graders was taught about hidden sugars in their drinks, how to quantify added sugar, and alternative drink choices. Students were able to practice their new skills by converting the grams of added sugar on the nutrition label of popular drinks into teaspoons. Students were surprised to learn how much sugar was hidden in drinks that some of them consume on a daily basis, along with how many calories are associated with those few extra teaspoons of sugar. Students also learned the recommended upper limit of sugar consumption per day according to the American Heart Association.

Additional nutrition education resources from the John Stalker Institute, similar to those used in Tim’s lessons, can be found here.

Submitted by: Tim Boykov, FSU Graduate student in the  Framingham State Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

Avery Elementary School Students Learn About Sometimes Foods and Switcheroos

Dedham Public Schools is dedicated to promoting lifelong, sound nutrition practices to their students. In striving to provide students with the nutrition knowledge to make healthier decisions in their diets, Dedham Public Schools has created a community dedicated to improving the well-being of their students. In efforts to enforce the Dedham Public School Wellness Policy and the school nutrition program, the district has partnered with Framingham State University’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics to provide nutrition education to their students.

FSU Student Dietitian, Sarah Veber, teaching students about the five food groups, “sometimes foods”, and “switcheroos”.

FSU Student Dietitian, Sarah Veber, teaching students about the five food groups, “sometimes foods”, and “switcheroos”.

Dedham Public Schools welcomed student dietitian Sarah Veber to Avery Elementary School. Sarah Veber worked with elementary school students to discuss “sometimes foods”, or foods that should only be eaten sometimes, and “switcheroos”, or healthy food options that can be switched instead of a “sometimes food”. For students, learning about what foods can be eaten daily to help grow strong and healthy versus what foods should only be eaten sometimes and in moderation is essential for promoting a lifelong healthy diet.

During the presentation, students actively participated by organizing food models into the correct food group, discussing what kinds of foods should only be eaten sometimes and why, and completing a worksheet on “sometimes” foods and “switcheroos”. After the lesson, students were able to understand that sugary foods and foods high in solid fat should not be eaten every day, but may be eaten in moderation. Sarah has helped to implement the Dedham Public School’s Wellness Policy by educating the district’s students on age-appropriate nutrition topics. Resources used for these lesson plans along with many other resources are available to students and educators at The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition resource center.

Submitted by: Sarah Veber, FSU Food and Nutrition Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

Hopkinton Middle School Students Learn to Ditch the Fizz!

Hopkinton Public Schools partnered with Framingham State University (FSU) for the first time this spring to connect graduate and undergraduate nutrition students with elementary, middle, and high school students in Hopkinton for nutrition education opportunities.  Hopkinton Public Schools, as detailed in their Wellness PolicyFood Service and Nutrition Departmentis dedicated to comprehensive and continuous health and nutrition education for all their students.  To help in reaching this goal, they have brought in student dietitians from FSU to talk about important topics that are relevant to their students.  Shane Toman, a graduate nutrition student, came in to teach students about various nutrition topics.  One of these was “Ditch the Fizz,” a lesson for 6th graders about making educated drink choices based on their sugar content.

FSU graduate student dietitian, Shane Toman, teaching 6th graders how to calculate the teaspoons of sugar in their drinks based on the nutrition facts label.

Students learned about the health effects of added sugar and empty calories and the need for other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They investigated the nutrition facts label on various drinks, such as sodas, milkshakes, and juices, and figured out how to determine the serving size and the amount of sugar per serving.  They also participated in an activity where they calculated the teaspoons of sugar in each drink based on the grams on the label and were able to visualize just how much sugar can be found in everyday drinks!

For more information and nutrition education resources, please visit The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition’s Resource Center of Framingham State University.

Submitted By: Shane Toman, Graduate Food and Nutrition Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at FSU.