Nutrition educators from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) work with first and second grade students in “high-needs” schools in Nevada. UNCE faculty and staff developed the curricula, based on Nevada State Health Education Standards. Using age-appropriate techniques and bilingual materials, nutritionists educate and motivate students to make healthful food and physical activity choices. Students also learn about healthy food combinations and choosing foods that provide the greatest benefit to their bodies. The children learn about things that you and I take for granted.
- Where does the food we eat come from?
- Why do I need to eat certain foods?
- What are the best choices from the food that I have in my home?
- Why do I need to eat breakfast?
- Why should I wash my hands so much?
- “What is activity and why is it important?”
The curricula are targeted to the needs and abilities of the children. Educators encourage students to participate by seeing, touching, and tasting new foods. One of the goals of this program is to show children that good nutrition and being active can be fun as well as good for them. There is no cost to the schools or to the school district for any of the services provided. All handouts, supplies, teaching aids, and foodstuffs are paid for through the program. Now in its twenty second year, the program has taught over 41,700 students.