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.
Andover Public Schools’ Nutrition program realizes that good nutrition and learning go hand in hand. However, convincing high school students to consume well-balanced snacks to help fuel their busy schedules can be challenging. The district’s Wellness Policy states that a healthy intake of food and nutrients is essential for students to take full advantage of the learning environment in school. In support of this policy, Framingham State University Dietetic Graduate student Meredith French taught ninth graders how to create better snacks using MyPlate in April 2018.
Examples of smarter snack options created by Andover High School students.
The lesson began by reviewing the MyPlate concept and its application to snack foods. Snacks should include items such as whole grains, low or fat-free dairy, and be comprised of two different food groups for a balanced, satiating snack. Students were given tip-sheets with smart-snacking ideas, and then participated in a five-station activity, where each station contained six food images belonging to one food group.
In groups, students were required to classify the food items at each station as ‘smarter’ snacks or ‘sometimes’ snacks, based on their knowledge of MyPlate and using the tip sheet. For example, a smarter snack in the protein group included hummus, while a sometimes snack included fried chicken wings. Students used a worksheet to record the smarter snacks at each station and took it home for future reference when snacking.
After completing the activity, each student identified three smarter snack combinations that they would enjoy eating. Several students shared their selections with the group. Combinations included carrot sticks with hummus and low-fat cheese with whole grain crackers.
For more information on improving wellness and nutrition education in schools, visit The John Stalker Institute’s Resource Center.
Submitted by: Meredith French, Graduate Student in the FSU Coordinated Program of Dietetics.
Andover Public School’s Wellness Policy emphasizes the importance of student health and describes the district’s detailed efforts to focus on wellness. To further enhance health and wellness education, the high school’s school nutrition program partnered with dietetic students in Framingham State University’s Food and Nutrition Coordinated Program. The students presented multiple lessons to middle school and high school students that focused on the importance of nutrition and physical activity. This semester, Framingham State University Dietetic Undergraduate Student Victoria Hoover helped high school students visualize the amount of sugar in common beverages in the “Rethink Your Drink!” lesson.
FSU Dietetic Intern, Victoria Hoover, leading a “Rethink Your Drink” training for Andover High School students.
The Andover High School 9th grade health class used the nutrition facts label and worked in groups to calculate the amount of sugar, in teaspoons, in beverages like sports drinks, sodas, iced tea, chocolate milk and 100% fruit juice. The groups then filled the bottles with the correct amount of sugar and presented them at the front of the classroom.
When the activity was complete, students were taught about each drink, compared it to a bag containing the recommended amount of daily added sugar and determined if each beverage was a healthy choice or not. The students then learned about the health problems related to consuming an excess of added sugars and received suggestions for healthier drink choices. Students were given handouts to bring home to remind them to rethink their drink!
American Heart Association infographic, “Sip Smarter.”
For additional resources on sugar solutions for schools visit the JSI Resource Center for information and lesson plans on sugar, added sugar, and artificial sweeteners.
Submitted by: Victoria Hoover, Framingham State University Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics