Dedham High School Students Learn the Facts on Fad Diets

Dedham Public Schools is committed to students’ health, well-being and their ability to learn by promoting healthy habits for lifelong nutrition and fitness practices. Nutrition education and resources are provided by Dedham Public Schools’ Food and Nutrition Services, including recipes, nutrition information for students and parents, and the district’s wellness policy.

On November 18, 2019, Framingham State University student dietitian Carly Gaffney helped the district further promote nutrition education in the classroom by teaching a nutrition lesson to 10th grade students at Dedham High School.

Carly led students through a lesson about Fad Diets, explaining the dangers of following different fad diets and how they may impact health. Students were taught how to identify a fad diet and why these diets do not support a healthy lifestyle. Through independent research, students also discovered potential side effects of following a fad diet. Carly then guided students through the importance of following a balanced diet by utilizing MyPlate and students were given further recommendations and resources to support adolescent health.

For additional nutrition education resources, visit The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition Resource Center.

Timing Meals for Athletic Performance at Hanover High School

The Hanover Public School District recognizes that wellness and proper nutrition are related to students’ physical well-being, growth, development, and achievement. As stated in Hanover’s Wellness Policy, the goal of nutrition education is to teach, encourage and support healthy eating by students. Promoting student health and nutrition enhances readiness for learning and increases student achievement.

Handout student athletes were able to take home

Handout student athletes were able to take home

This fall, students at Hanover High School were able to choose certain nutrition topics they wanted to learn more about and sports nutrition was selected. On November 18th, 2019, Framingham State University student dietitian Lauren Burkley taught 9-12th grade physical education students how to maximize physical performance through food. During the “Sports Nutrition” lesson, student athletes from a wide range of sports learned the importance of fueling for physical activity, how timing of meals impacts performance, and the proper way to stay hydrated. While the majority of the lesson was geared towards athletes, all students benefitted from discussing the principles of MyPlate, and healthier food choices. Students tested their knowledge in a game of Jeopardy and came up with specific snacks and meals to help get the physical results they desire.

Through Framingham State’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics, student dietitians like Lauren are able to visit multiple schools within the districts of Massachusetts to provide nutrition education that meet each district’s wellness goals.

The Hanover Food Service webpage provides additional information to the district on nutrition and fitness for all audiences. Check out The John C. Stalker Institute’s Resource Center for more nutrition-based resources and lesson plans to incorporate in your school district.

Submitted by: Lauren Burkley, FSU Food and Nutrition Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics

Glover Elementary School Students Learn About MyPlate

Students learned about the health benefits of the five food groups using MyPlate.

The nutrition services department in the Milton Public Schools District is dedicated to increasing healthy habits and lifelong nutrition practices in their students.

Milton Public Schools Wellness Policy states that it strives to provide a healthy environment for learning about positive dietary and lifestyle practices, and discourages practices that promote unhealthy activities. Through the Framingham State Coordinated Program in Dietetics, student dietitians are able to visit multiple schools within the district in order to provide the nutrition education that is stipulated by the district’s wellness policy. On November 18, 2019, Ashley Llewellyn visited Glover Elementary School to teach 3rd grade students about MyPlate. During this Food Group Hustle lesson, the students learned the basic health benefits of each food group.

Students created healthy meals with at least three food groups!

They also learned how to utilize the portion sizes given on the MyPlate image in order to monitor their intake of each food group during mealtime. They did this by using images of different food items and as a group they made a balanced meal using the images they were given. It was emphasized that they do not need to have all five food groups at every meal, but that they should strive to have at least three especially fruits and vegetables.

For more information on how to educate children on MyPlate and the five food groups in schools, please visit the K-12 lesson page of the JSI Resource Center.

Submitted by: Ashley Llewellyn, FSU Food and Nutrition graduate student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

Milton High Students Learn How to Spot Nutrition Myths and Fact-Check Claims

Milton’s Nutrition Services Department believes that encouraging healthy eating habits in the early years helps students grow and learn to their fullest potential, allowing them to go on and lead long healthy lives. Milton’s Wellness Policystates that Milton “commit[s] to using the most updated nutritional information available for instruction.” In an age where information is instantly and readily accessible and with the rise of social media, it is important that students learn how to identify credible resources and verify what they see and read.

Through Framingham State University’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics, student dietitians visit multiple schools throughout the district to further Milton’s wellness goals regarding nutrition education.  On December 5, 2019, student dietitian Shahira Orcel taught 9-12th grade culinary arts students at Milton High School the importance of questioning and fact checking nutrition claims using credible resources.

Find the Resource Kahoot Question assessing students ability to find a credible resource for nutrition related information.

During the “Busting Nutrition Myths” lesson, students learned how to identify nutrition myths by cueing in on too-good-to-be true statements, unqualified individuals claiming to be experts, and the shortcomings of fad diets that might be harmful to their health. Students tested their knowledge with a Bust a Myth Challenge and worked through a Fact Checking Scenario activity that described students like them navigating claims or looking for resources to help them make more healthful choices. The students’ favorite part of the lesson was the Kahoot Bust a Myth Challenge where they could compete against each other for the highest score by busting nutrition myths.

To discover useful lesson plans and more interactive ways to incorporate nutrition education in the classroom, visit The John C. Stalker Institute’s Resource Center.

Submitted by Shahira Orcel, FSU Food and Nutrition Graduate Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

Watertown Elementary School Students Learn About MyPlate and the Five Food Groups

Watertown Public Schools is dedicated to students’ health, well-being, and their ability to learn, as described on their school nutrition program webpage. Their mission is to provide high-quality, low-cost meals to their students and to make sure the students have access to both healthy meals and proper nutrition education. It is emphasized in the district’s Wellness Policy that children need healthy meals to learn. On December 2nd, 2019, Watertown Public Schools teamed up with Framingham State University’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics and invited student dietitian, Jocelyn Garanito, to teach 2nd grade students about the five food groups.

FSU student dietitian, Jocelyn Garanito, teaches Watertown 2nd graders about MyPlate.

FSU student dietitian, Jocelyn Garanito, teaches Watertown 2nd graders about MyPlate.

During this lesson, the students learned about the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy). Students were taught which designated group different foods belonged to and how to incorporate all five food groups into each meal. The students also participated in a fun activity called Musical Food Groups. During this activity, the names of the five food groups were posted up around the classroom. The students were then each assigned a food that belonged to one of the five groups. The students danced around to music and when the music stopped, they were told to find  the food group to which their food belonged. Once the students did this successfully, they made a meal with their peers who had foods belonging to the other four food groups.

To explore more resources that can be implemented into school lesson plans, please visit The John. C Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition  resource center.

Submitted by: Jocelyn Garanito, FSU Food and Nutrition Student Coordinated Program in Dietetics

Students at Hanover High School Learn the Pitfalls of Fad Diets

Hanover High School reinforces the district’s wellness policy commitment to nutrition education and providing lessons in lifelong health through its partnership with Framingham State University’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics. On November 25, 2019, graduate student dietitian Kristin Ellis worked with the Hanover Public Schools nutrition program and provided a lesson on the dangers of consuming caloric- and nutrient-restrictive diets and educated students on the benefits of following balanced meals consistent with the MyPlate guidelines.

This is an image of one of the slides used to help educate Hanover High students about the variety of fad diets throughout the years.

Using a PowerPoint timeline that explored diet theories beginning in the early 1900’s, Kristin provided a historical perspective complete with nutrition information that outlined the nutrient and caloric needs of students at their current age and stage and the importance of a balanced diet for overall health. The lesson explored the dangers of insufficient calories and nutrients and the effect it has on each part of the body, appealing to students by including impacts on overall health, as well as, the impact diet has on healthy skin and hair.

As part of the lesson, students researched one popular current fad diet and reported on the diet’s potential dangers and long-term negative impact. Using this strategy, coupled with a jeopardy game, students displayed active learning and increased overall knowledge of nutrient needs and the value of a life-long commitment to balanced eating.

Additional information about school nutrition lesson planning can be found at The John C. Stalker Institute Resource Center.

Submitted by: Kristin Ellis, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student in The Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

Watertown Public School Elementary Students Learn About the Five Food Groups and MyPlate

Watertown Public Schools are committed to the optimal development of every student. The Food Service Department and faculty work hard to ensure students are provided quality nutrition education in school-age years to reinforce lifelong healthy eating habits that contribute to a student’s overall well-being.

FSU student dietitian Kelly Lucke teaching students about MyPlate and the five food groups.

FSU student dietitian Kelly Lucke teaching students about MyPlate and the five food groups.

It is part of the goal of Watertown’s Wellness Policy to gear health education toward personal behaviors and habits, to resist peer and wider pressures to make unhealthy choices, and to emphasize learning and practicing skills students need for healthy living.

In making these wellness policy goals a reality, Watertown has partnered with Framingham State University and their Coordinated Program in Dietetics to provide nutrition education to their students.

On December 2, 2019, student dietitian Kelly Lucke taught second grade students at Watertown Elementary about MyPlate and the importance of incorporating all five food groups into their diets through a lesson titled Fun with Food Groups. In the lesson, students danced to a catchy song, Alive with Five, while each holding a picture of a different food. When the music stopped, students had fun figuring out what food group their card belonged to with the 5 categories from MyPlate posted throughout the room.

By the end of the lesson, all of the students were able to make a breakfast, lunch, and dinner that included each of the five food groups. Students also enjoyed sharing details of their favorite snack in each of the categories!

To explore more resources regarding nutrition education and other interesting lesson plans to implement in your school, please visit The John C. Stalker Institute resource center.

Submitted by: Kelly Lucke, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student in the Coordinated Program in dietetics.

Dedham High School Students Bust Common Nutrition Myths!

Framingham State University student dietitian Mollie Socha educated sophomores at Dedham High School on how to debunk common nutrition myths.

The Dedham Public School District is committed to promoting lifelong health, well-being, and the ability to learn by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity through implementation of their Wellness Policy. This commitment is executed by serving balanced meals and executing nutrition education throughout the school district. Nutrition education provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to eat a balanced diet and reduce the possibility of illness and chronic diseases. It is also an essential part of the district’s nutrition program.

On November 19, 2019, Framingham State University student dietitian Mollie Socha spent time with sophomore students at Dedham High School. She talked about the differences between nutrition facts and myths. The majority of the time was spent reviewing common nutrition information that was created and spread to be common knowledge. Students were quizzed on whether the nutrition statements were true or false. Following the quiz, the students reviewed the validity of each statement and discussed the logic behind the correct answer. Mollie also educated on how to find credible nutrition information. All of the students were surprised to find out how much misinformation is out there!

For more information on how to implement nutrition education into the wellness policy in your school district, check out Wellness Solution for MA.

Submitted by: Mollie Socha, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics