Regular field trips (grocery stores, bowling alleys, etc) that promote wellbeing incorporated into health class
We thought that a great way to teach kids about nutrition could be to get out of the typical classroom setting and learn through field trips. Through some of our interviews, we learned that low-income students oftentimes are unaware of what healthy foods even are, so by providing a field trip to a grocery store and making a scavenger hunt out of it, kids can get out of the classroom, and learn in an incredibly unique but beneficial way. On the other hand, taking a class to a bowling alley and creating a fun environment to learn about activities, and healthy eating can also be a great way to promote wellbeing outside of school, but a part of their health curriculum.
Cooking class, in person or online
In the midst of developing ideas for nutrition education during a pandemic, we thought that it would be important to offer cooking classes to kids both in person and online. We learned that kids obtain and retain information best through imitating actions. With that being said, we think that offering cooking classes to kids would be extremely beneficial and something that they would look forward to.
Take home recipes to parents
The benefit of creating cooking classes and offering them to kids both online and in person can be what they take with them after the class. After each cooking class, the kids can take a physical copy of the recipe they just did home with them and show it to their parents, and create a cook book compiled of all of their nutritious and affordable recipes.
Incorporate nutrition into every aspect of the school curriculum
As we learned through our research, the time dedicated to teaching nutrition in school curriculums is extremely minuscule. We thought a great way to combat this would be to incorporate nutrition into every aspect of the school curriculum. In other words, if math classes used apples and oranges as variables in their lessons, or if science classes studied the biological benefits of eating nutritious food items on a regular basis, then maybe kids would start to seek out where nutrition was in their everyday lives and begin to see the importance of it.
Introducing new foods into the classroom and have the children eat them to see that healthy foods can be prepared in a tasty manner
One of the importance of nutrition education stems from the wide variety of benefits healthy foods have to offer, especially when they are the kinds of foods that students are unaware of yet, or are aware of but have a bad taste towards them. As one of our ideas, we thought that introducing new foods to students in the classroom and have the students eat them would be a great way for them to see that healthy foods can be prepared in a tasty manner. For example, kids oftentimes will choose to eat french fries over sweet potato fries solely because of their precondition disdain against something healthy, and the fact that they know french fries are good. But if they can see that something healthy, like sweet potatoes, can be prepared in a tasty way, it will hopefully encourage them to widen their palettes.
Integrate “Fooducate” into the lunchroom/classroom
There is a great app called “Fooducate” in the app store that we think would be really beneficial for students. Fooducate allows students to see what ingredients are in their food and determines how healthy your food is. In addition, it also provides healthy recipes and nutrition tips. We think that if students utilize this app in the cafeteria or in the classroom after lunch, they can easily learn about nutrition and its benefits during their day.
An aftercare school program that revolves around nutrition education
Oftentimes, students will wait for their parents after the school day is over to pick them up once they get off from their jobs. This can typically lead to the kids just hanging out. We saw this as a great opportunity to incorporate a nutrition education afterschool program. The kids can get snacks, learn about what they’re eating or about nutrition generally, and leave knowing more about food and the importance of a healthy diet.
Partner with Costco/Trader Joes/Whole Foods to educate low-income students about nutrition education with hands-on activities/ use extra food (reduce grocery store waste)
In an effort to educate kids on nutrition, we stumbled across a way to do that and reduce food waste from major grocery stores in the U.S. Most grocery stores have a kitchenette, if not a full industrial kitchen, within their stores to cook their fresh meals and food items, and they also end up throwing away loads of fresh food that didn’t sell. We thought it would be a great idea to partner with a grocery store like Costco, Trader Joes, or Whole Foods, who could help educate low-income students about nutrition education with hands-on activities, like cooking, with the extra food they have on their shelves. This idea also presents itself as a great opportunity for grocery stores to receive positive publicity and a community-helping brand.
Gamify nutrition education, prizes awarded based on who records their healthy food/ eats the most nutritious meals
A way to encourage healthy eating that we came up with was to gamify nutrition education. Kids will record their meals, and whoever eats the most nutritious meals after a week can be awarded prizes. This is beneficial in two ways, by having kids record what they eat, they will be more aware of what they’re eating, and it will encourage them to eat healthy meals in order to win prizes. Teachers can then use the meals as examples of healthy eating, and then educate their students on the nutrition exemplified in the meals.
A version of “HelloFresh” - premade, convenient and healthy meals
Lastly, we looked further down the avenue of premade, convenient, and healthy meals from companies like HelloFresh. Through providers like this, if there was an affordable option that could be used by families who have at-risk of obesity children and/or are a part of a low-income group, they could receive the benefits of healthy meals and not have their income determine their health status.
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