The learning hasn’t stopped for many students despite school being out for summer break. Staff from Pasco County School’s Food & Nutrition Services and Team Nutrition partnered together to carry out nutrition education sessions at various PLACE program sites across the county. The sessions were designed to target the program’s theme of “Fun with Food & Fitness.” Students learned about MyPlate and how the five food groups are central to healthy eating. The fun began when a cast of organ characters were shown inside larger OrganWise Guys dolls named Andy and Annie.
Students were encouraged to fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables in order to get the fiber and water content that would benefit their intestines (Peri Stolic) and their kidneys (brothers, Sid and Kid). They also learned how grains provide carbohydrates which serve as fuel for their bodies and why whole grains are the more nutritious choice because they provide more fiber and vitamins.
Madame Muscle was introduced when the protein food group was discussed to illustrate how protein and particularly lean protein and a variety of protein is important for building muscles. The dairy food group brought the message that calcium rich foods like milk, cheese and yogurt are beneficial to Calci M. Bone.
Students were put to the test- both physically and mentally with a food group relay race. The students were charged with the task of correctly identifying which food group various food items belonged to. In teams, students ran, hopped, skipped, jumped and walked to grocery bags labeled with one of the food groups. Fun was had by all and ultimately students understood just how important and fun making healthy eating decisions and being active can be!
Guest Blogger: Raneitra Grover, MPH, Team Nutrition Coordinator, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services