Promote nutrition education - 4 of 5 years
Finding creative and exciting ways to promote and infuse nutrition education at both the school and community levels is vital to improving the health and well-being of our community.
During the 2015-2016 school year, the Nutrition Services Team found creative and exciting ways to promote and infuse nutrition education at both the school and community levels. To begin the school year supporting academic efforts, our Department provided each principal with age-appropriate nutrition related books that the schools could incorporate into their media centers.
One of the most exciting ways to reach individuals and promote nutrition education is through health fairs. The Department hosted two health fairs during the school year. The first one was at Pahokee High School on November 3rd and the other was at Jupiter Elementary on February 24th.
The health fair held at Jupiter Elementary aligned with the messages from the National Nutrition Month campaign designed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s theme “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” focused attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
“Fruits & Veggies… More Matters” was the focal point at Pahokee High School’s health fair and by administrative request, the Department infused various opportunities for physical activity to take place during the event. Additionally, a field trip to R.C. Hatton Farms was incorporated in this health fair.
In addition to the two health fairs hosted by the Department, we participated in the following school-based health fairs:
- Melaleuca Elementary' (October 7th)
- Cholee Lake Elementary (February 2nd)
- Tradewinds Middle (February 6th)
- Equestrian Trails Elementary (March 3rd)
- New Horizons Elementary (April 8th)
- Allamanda Elementary (April 20th)
During the month of March 2016, the Department promoted National Nutrition Month throughout the district. The campaign was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics back in 1980 and focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme of “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” encouraged everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors, and social experiences food can add to our lives. How, when, why, and where we eat are just as important as what we eat. Developing a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods is the best way to savor the flavor of eating right!
To celebrate National Nutrition Month®, the School Food Service Department sent out promotional materials to every Food Service Manager throughout the district. The marketing materials included flyers, table tents, healthy eating tips, activity sheets, and coloring pages to be shared with the school’s student body and staff. Members of the School Food Service Nutrition Team participated in school-based health and wellness events throughout the month.
In addition, a webpage on the School Food Service Nutrition Education website was dedicated to National Nutrition Month. This webpage contained a variety of useful information about National Nutrition Month, including resources available electronically.
Throughout the school year, teachers make special requests to have our Nutrition Educators speak directly with their students in the classroom. Our Nutrition Educators are well versed in many topics and have the ability to customize presentations based on the need of their audience. During the 2015-2016 school year, they provided nutrition education presentations at Lake Worth High School and Atlantic High School. In addition to the classroom lessons, they also presented at the national Learn Green Conference held on November 11th at Boynton Beach High School.
The nutrition education webpage (https://www.palmbeachschools.org/sfs/nutrition-education) on the Department’s website continues to be an effective way to promote various nutrition related topics. This webpage is updated on a monthly basis and includes topics such as:
- The OrganWise Guys
- Food Allergies
- Teacher Resources
- Parent Resources
The OrganWise Guys program continues to be the foundation of our nutrition education outreach for elementary level students. The program utilizes fun and creative ways to provide nutrition education. All elementary schools promote the program through the educational “Foods of the Month” posters displayed within the serving lines. Throughout the year, the administrative office provides support to numerous SFS managers who conduct school-based activities. This year, the Department established a partnership with City of West Palm Beach to have consistent messages from the school day into after-school hours. Lastly, we were excited to learn that six schools who were awarded $500 for achieving the bronze level recognition with the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) selected the OrganWise Guys kit to continue building their nutrition education efforts.