Students Learn the Costs of Fast, Convenience Foods Versus DIY at Andover Public Schools

Andover Pubic School’s Food and Nutrition Services are dedicated to providing healthy and delicious meals to their students during the school day. The assortment of choices students have daily in the cafeteria exposes them to a variety of different foods. Nutrition Services also supports learning opportunities, which help students build skills and confidence to make healthy lifestyle choices, according to their wellness policy.

FSU Dietetic Intern, Rachel Tedford, using an online survey tool, Kahoot, to test students’ knowledge on the costs of choosing fast and convenience foods

This spring they  welcomed dietetic interns from  Framingham State University into classrooms to provide nutrition education. In April 2018, Framingham State dietetic intern, Rachel Tedford, visited a seventh grade health class at West Middle School. She provided a lesson on the, “Costs of Fast and Convenient Foods Vs. DIY (doing it yourself).” Students learned about both the monetary and health costs that come with choosing fast and convenience foods. Many students were shocked at the costs and calorie savings that come with homemaking your meals.

This age group is crucial to target with this message because they are just beginning to have more freedom in their food choices. Many students reported that they felt constantly bombarded by food advertisements and fast food establishments. Students completed an activity using an online quiz tool, Kahoot. This new online quiz tool displays multiple-choice questions on the projector, students are required to enter their answer in real-time on their laptops, smartphones, or tablet. The tool then displays the distribution of answers on the projector, as seen in the photo above. Students were asked to estimate the calorie and cost difference of several different fast food items, compared to a homemade version.

Following the activity students brainstormed skills and habits that would prevent them from turning to these fast and convenient items. Students came up with ideas such as meal prepping at the beginning of the week, packing a snack the night before, and always having an emergency snack handy in their backpack.

For more information about smart snacks, and other nutrition education topics and opportunities, visit the John Stalker Institute (JSI) resource center.

Submitted by: Rachel Tedford, Framingham State University Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics