How can we create a solution that increases the quality and amount of nutrition education that students receive in school to ensure better future health outcomes?
Upon our research and conversations with our stakeholders, we have discovered that the inadequacy of nutrition education in elementary schools needs to be addressed. Children deserve to have effective methods of nutrition education that are not reliant on their own parents' knowledge base or the 3.4 hours that are taught annually in the classroom. Any education solution that we decide on must be interactive, affordable, convenient, involve parents, and holistic (meaning that it should incorporate overall wellbeing).
Our solution design must be interactive, because children need stimuli to be engaged, and we simply cannot bombard them with nutritional pamphlets and hope that they retain the information.
Our solution must involve parents. Ultimately, parents are the ones that go to the grocery store and pick out their food- not their children. Unfortunately, many parents themselves are not educated on nutrition, do not have the knowledge or time to make healthy recipes, or many not be able to afford healthy options. By involving parents in the education process, they will better their understanding of food and pass on their learnings to their children. After school hours, everything children consume derives from their parent's decisions.
Our solution must be affordable. Most money that goes towards nutritional education programs comes from grants, and those are not easily attained. There are more economical ways of providing nutrition education than others; however, we want to be able to make a genuine and sustainable impact.
Our solution must be convenient. A program that is not easily incorporated into children’s school day or requires substantial time would not be worthwhile.
Our solution must be holistic. Yes, we want children to become cognizant of what they are eating, but they must also know the other factors that contribute to a long, healthy life (such as exercise). We do not want to encourage dieting; we just want kids to develop healthy and sustainable habits that will provide them a solid foundation to avoid future health complications.
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