- 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.
Easterby Elementary kindly invited UC CalFresh to join their Spring Carnival on May 12th this year! UC CalFresh Nutrition staff, Hannah and Maira, spent a sunny evening sharing nutrition education and physical activity with Easterby students and their parents. Take a look at the pictures below to get a glimpse of the fun!
Miss Strawberry is ready to share MyPlate!
UC CalFresh incorporated physical activity with a Tic-Tac-Toe toss, and had a station for students and their families to create healthy meals using MyPlates and food pictures.
Maira discusses the benefits of physical activity with an Easterby Tiger.
Thank you to everyone at Easterby for welcoming us to their campus and giving us a chance to share our work with the Easterby community!
In March, students receiving nutrition education from UC CalFresh were able to try a juicy, tart grapefruit! For many students, it was their first time trying it, and we received a lot of feedback from them. Mrs. Stearns' transitional kindergarten class at Easterby Elementary School reflected on their tasting by turning it into art. Take a look at their creative artwork and opinions in the pictures below!
"I like it because it has seeds."
"I don't like it because it has the white part I don't like."
"I like grapefruit because it is sour."
As we can see from their artwork, grapefruits were a hit with some students, while others weren't a big fan. Whether students liked it or not, it's wonderful to see that they were all willing to try it! Teaching children to be open to new foods is such an important part of creating a healthy diet, and Mrs. Stearns' kiddos are off to a great start!
Over the past few months, UC CalFresh's garden group has teamed up with the wonderful staff and faculty at Ayer Elementary to launch the Ayer Garden Project. This project will give students and their parents, as well as Ayer teachers, the opportunity to garden together and build a healthier community. On Tuesday, May 23rd, the UC CalFresh garden group hosted Adopt-a-Bed, where teachers had a chance to "adopt" one of the garden beds that have been sitting unused for the past few years. The collective vision is that students, parents, Ayer staff, and the surrounding community will find joy, health, and a whole wealth of knowledge in the garden next year.
UC CalFresh garden team members Nancy, Hannah, and Kristi are ready to share the joy of gardening with teachers!
Hannah discusses garden logistics with the enthusiastic kindergarten team.
"Orange you tired of not having a garden?"
Ayer's lead Nutrition Educator, Hannah, is excited to see how the garden grows next year! Be sure to stay tuned and check back in the fall for more Ayer Garden Project updates!
- 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.