- Author: Mishelle Petit
- Editor: Emily Harris
The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement is a national movement that focuses on improving a school's lunchroom environment to promote healthy eating behaviors amongst the students. Even small, low-cost/ no-cost solutions can have a big impact!
Have a blank wall in your cafeteria? Let UC CalFresh fill it with an educational Nutrition Corner! Take a look at the difference it's made at Birney Elementary.
This wall now features a Nutrition Corner highlighting the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, and the health benefits of each color!
Another empty space became an opportunity to emphasize MyPlate and healthy snack choices!
Even the milk carts are encouraging students to drink milk and eat healthy foods!
The blank wall above the water fountain is a great opportunity to encourage students to choose water instead of sugary beverages.
While finishing up in the cafeteria, UC CalFresh nutrition staff Evelyn Morales and Mishelle Petit were able to hear the reactions of students as they saw their updated cafeteria for the first time. Many students were quickly able to point out the new MyPlate images in their cafeteria. Some comments included:
"Hey look, it's MyPlate!"
"Wow, it's like Christmas!"
"MyPlate shows you healthy foods."
While returning to Birney Elementary to teach the lesson, "Choosing Healthy Snacks and Beverages," I asked students if they ever thought about how much sugar is in some of their favorite drinks. Students from almost every class eagerly raised their hands to share that they learned a soda has 8 teaspoons of sugar from the poster in the cafeteria. This goes to show that small changes can make a big difference!
If you have questions on the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement, please click here.
- Author: Maira Enriquez
- Editor: Emily Harris
Image Source: http://bit.ly/2tO4myQ
For some kids, the only healthy meal they consume is a meal offered at school during the academic year. During the summer, the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (Fresno EOC) Food Service Program is providing no-cost meals to youth in the community through its Summer Food Services Program (SFSP).
Text food or comida to 877877
to find out where some of the listings for summer meals for kids will be held.
Besides eating healthy meals, students and parents are encouraged to work out and stay cool during the triple digit weather here in the Central Valley. Kids need one hour of physical activity everyday, whereas adults need only 2.5 hours a week. Swimming can be a great way to work out and cool down.
Image Source: http://bit.ly/2tfqYX8
The Fresno Unified School District has partnered with the City of Fresno to extend pool hours to the weekend for their Community Open Space Program. All seven high schools are open for the summer. The pools' entrance fees are $1 for children and $2 for adults during the week, and no-cost on the weekend. Check out the schedule below to find the pool nearest you.
- Author: Nancy Zumkeller
- Editor: Emily Harris
Healthy food and fun physical activity was on the menu for Anthony preschool students and their families. Mrs. Ojeda's AM and PM classes joined together with the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education team for a morning of exercise through the MyPlate Obstacle Course on May 10th. Students gained reinforcement of the messages they have learned all year about the MyPlate model and shared that knowledge with their families. Everyone worked together through 6 stations, such as the Fruit Hoops Bean Bag Toss, the Dairy Dunes Hurdles, and the Vegetable Vertical Climbers, to name a few. Connecting physical activity to the classroom messages about the importance of MyPlate gave these preschoolers a memorable and fun experience that was shared with their parents and younger siblings. Mrs. Ojeda stated that everyone was so excited for this event that parents brought healthy snacks for a healthy party in the classroom after the obstacle course.
The UC CalFresh Fruits and Vegetables were the local celebrities on campus as many preschoolers wanted their individual photo taken with them!
UC CalFresh Nutrition Educator, Hannah Lee, takes a water break with her group at the Hydration Station, where she reads them a story about the importance of drinking water.
The Whole Grain Hops had students practicing their motor skills.
The Dairy Dunes Hurdles had students jumping for joy!
Parents and students build muscle with the Protein Parachute!
Anthony Preschool families gather for a group photo after a morning of physical activity before heading into the classroom to share some healthy snacks!
This event provided families with first-hand experience on how simple exercises done together can not only be fun, but instill positive exercise habits for their young students. Mrs. Ojeda's wish is to make this a yearly event for her preschoolers and possibly for all preschoolers throughout Fresno Unified School District.
- Author: Consuelo Cid
I spy something with fun booths, games, family entertainment, and outstanding school teachers and staff.
Did you guess school carnivals? If so, you hit the nail on the head!
I attended Winchell Elementary's School Carnival on May 19th with a couple of my UC CalFresh team members.
As a nutrition educator, one of my most anticipated school events are the school carnivals. Students also look forward to these yearly events. The students are eager to return to campus and enjoy the lively music, games, and entertainment with their friends and families.
Are school carnivals an appropriate avenue to reinforce the nutrition concepts that students learn in the classroom?
Just watch how this Winchell Elementary student tests his aim. Will it land on an anytime or sometimes dairy food? The uncertainty is keeping us all on edge.
Games are fun, but what delighted me was seeing how students also took an interest in the interactive "Milk is For Me" display. Their creative and bright minds went right to work as they recalled why low-fat milk was a drink of choice.
"Dairy gives me strong bones and strong teeth!"
Parents, too, were eager to have their dairy related questions answered. Did you know that students are great teachers?!?! With the help of students, we talked about the the importance of consuming low-fat dairy products!
What a fun way to reign in another school year. As summer approaches, we want to remind all students to choose and consume foods from all five food groups and to get moderate physical activity for at least 60 minutes each summer day, and every day. Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn more!
UC CalFresh is excited to kick-start another healthy school year this upcoming fall!/span>
- Author: Tacu Vang
- Editor: Emily Harris
"What did you bring for us to try today?"
This is the question I'm asked by my students in every class that I teach nutrition lessons. Tastings are brought throughout the school year for students to try new, healthy foods. It is the goal of UC CalFresh to give different types of tastings that come from the five food group on MyPlate for the students to sample. During the school year, I would always reference MyPlate with the tastings that the students were getting for that month. This gives them an idea which food group each tasting belongs to.
Many teachers created nutrition corners based on the different tastings the students tried during this school year. One of the teachers who did so was Mrs. Thao at Bakman Elementary. Mrs. Thao went over the tastings with the students and then posted pictures of each tasting on the nutrition corner to remind the students of the great foods they were able to try through the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program. Each time I visited Mrs. Thao's classroom, the students would remind me of what food they tasted, and tell me how much they enjoyed it or didn't enjoy it. Of course, all of the feedback from the students is great to help us improve our tastings for them to try in the future.
I've enjoyed talking with my students this year about the foods they were able to try. It's always exciting to see students try new foods, which leaves me with my own question:
"What will we bring for them to try next time?"