Inspired by the widespread prevalence and escalation of obesity worldwide, The Healthy Eating Initiative is a nutrition awareness program with the goal of improving eating habits in elementary school students. The curriculum was founded upon comprehensive research of nutritional education in the State of California and follows recommendations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It consists of eight educational components encouraging a healthy lifestyle, as well as specific hands on games and activities. In addition, the curriculum used in the Healthy Eating Initiative is physician approved from pediatricians of the White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles.
This initiative has been carefully designed to maximize outreach and sustainability. The framework is two-fold:
- High school students learn to build connections with local elementary schools and visit these schools once a week to teach a nutrition class, allowing them to build leadership skills and engage with their communities outside of the classroom.
- School teachers can incorporate these materials into their science curriculum once a week, as much of the material is already folded into state common core requirements.
Furthermore, the Healthy Eating Initiative has gone international! The chasm in nutrition between developing and developed countries is not a new or surprising issue. Based on our tested model of adolescent nutritional education in the US, we have launched this initiative in several schools in Peru as well as Kuwait, and we are working towards launches in Mexico, Argentina, and Bermuda.
COMMON CORE CONNECTIONS:
Students involved with the Healthy Eating Initiative apply a number of key state and federal standards, including but not limited to the following list, which is taken from corestandards.org.
By the end of high school, students should be able to:
1. Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
3. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
4. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
5. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.