University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) has trained over 250 teachers and afterschool leaders how to incorporate nutrition education into daily classroom activities and make it fun while also educational.
In the 2009-10 school year UCCE evaluated the Youth Nutrition Program. Forty-eight teachers responded to a survey designed to evaluate behavior change in both the students and the teachers themselves after participating in our program. From that survey we found that 89 percent of the students can now identify healthy food choices and 78 percent of students are willing to try new vegetables and fruit, which is well over the state average of 60 percent.
The teachers now feel they offer more healthy food choices in the classroom (78 percent) for parties and snacks than before our program and are encouraging breakfast (70 percent) and more physical activity (81 percent).
These results show that not only the nutrition program is reaching the students themselves, but the teachers are also making healthier choices and reinforcing the healthy behavior messages. Thank you teachers! Once again you are making a difference in our kids’ future.
— Theresa M. Spezzano
UC Cooperative Extension Nutrition, Family, Consumer Science Advisor