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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Milford Public Schools believes that a winning recipe for a healthy lifestyle is a combination of both good nutrition and physical activity. This is reflected in their Wellness Policy that emphasizes the importance of nutrition and fitness and the incorporation of those into the education of the students. This integration includes health education and physical education. In additions, the Milford Public Schools Food and Nutrition page includes menus, tips for eating healthy, and activities for kids, their families and teachers.
In expanding their current health education goals, Memorial Elementary School invited Robby Guarino, a student currently enrolled in the Framingham State University Coordinated Program in Dietetics, to teach a gym class of 1st grade and 2nd grade students. Robby presented a lesson involving MyPlate and how some foods are “sometimes foods” and that there are healthier options that can be eaten more frequently.
Robby teaching 1st and 2nd graders about “sometimes foods” and MyPlate at Memorial Elementary School in Milford, MA.
The lesson included using food models to see if the students could identify the food group it belonged to and if it was a “sometimes food” or not. The students then engaged in a physical activity where there were six colored hula-hoops around the gym, one for each of the five food groups with each hoop being the color of its corresponding food group and a yellow one for “sometimes foods”. Robby would shout out the name of a food and the students would have to run to the hula-hoop for the food group that the food belonged to. The students really enjoyed the activity as it got both their bodies and brains moving!
For more information and ideas, not just for nutrition education, but overall wellness education as well, visit The John C. Stalker Institute Resource Center. The Lessons for Elementary, Middle, and High Schools page is a great way to get started in implementing more nutrition education into the curriculum!
Submitted by Robby Guarino, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.
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.
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’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.
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 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.
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”.
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.