Recently, four nutrition students from CSUS approached me to conduct a nutrition class as a project for one of their classes. One of the students and her sister had previously attended the volunteer orientation and wanted to become more involved with Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS). Their idea was to teach individuals how to utilize the MyPlate.gov website, specifically the SuperTracker, to track food intake and physical activity. After meeting and discussing more about the goals and objectives of the class, we decided that teaching the students in Computer Clubhouse would be beneficial. Not only do the students receive a healthy and nutritious snack while attending the after-school program, they also receive nutrition education.
The CSUS nutrition students created a detailed, yet easy to understand PowerPoint presentation, as well as a hands-on activity. During the class the CSUS students explained serving sizes and had each student measure out a serving of broccoli, strawberries and pasta and serving it on the appropriate-sized plate. Many of the SFBFS’ students learned that they are typically eating more than the recommended daily value. Providing a step-by-step tutorial on what the SuperTracker is and how to use it, really opened their eyes to the nutrients they are putting in their bodies. They now have a better understanding that beverages count towards your daily intake, not just breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The students overwhelmingly agreed the class rated a 10! One student commented on how this will change her whole life. The class opened up a discussion on how the students really do enjoy eating healthy, just that they are used to eating items prepared a certain way. The next healthy eating topic for the class: homemade hummus. One student commented “hummus is life.” It showed that children really do like trying new and healthy foods, we just have to present it in the right way!
Submitted by Erika Ledbetter, Health & Nutrition Resource Coordinator at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.