Nutrition and Fitness – Project Summary

Senior students in the Luther College nursing program, Public Health Nurses from Winneshiek County, food and nutrition specialists from Iowa State University Extension, and teachers in four private schools in the county will collaborate to provide an interactive and unique nutrition education program for children of all ages attending the schools.

At least one day a month will be devoted to nutrition education across the curriculum. Senior nursing students and Public Health Nurses will plan and implement nutrition education lessons and activities that focus on different aspects of the food pyramid each month (e.g. September – introduction of the program; October – focus on avoiding sweets and fats, and November – focus on dairy group, etc.) ISUE specialists will assist in development of appropriate course materials.

Teachers will participate by organizing class activities around the same part of the pyramid in order to reinforce the nutrition education (e.g. examining where different grain crops are grown in a geography lesson, adding names of fruits to a spelling list, calculating approximate serving sizes in a math class, etc.)

Classroom games and activities in addition to regular activities in P.E. classes will be introduced to encourage physical fitness for all ages.

Various foods and other supplemental activities will be introduced to the children throughout the month, and activity cards and recipes will be sent home for parents to support the lessons taught at school.

In addition, students will be encouraged to participate in the “Pick a Better Snack” program developed by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa State Extension Service with monthly snack and activity BINGO cards.

Initial Project Planning Calendar

Month Focus of Month Initial Objectives * Initial List of Web-based Resources

August Pre-planning

Meeting with teachers

Group planning To explain program to the teachers involved at the fall group faculty meeting.
To provide resources for activities across the curriculum.
To allow brainstorming and group planning between schools.
To establish a time frame (choose dates, etc.) for implementation.
September Introduction of Program & Pre-test

Letter to parents

A look at self-esteem

Complete height & weight assessments. To introduce program to students at the schools.
To assess student level of understanding of the concepts to be covered this year.
To inform parents of the project and solicit their cooperation in testing and tasting throughout the year.
To introduce students to concepts of positive self-esteem regardless of their body size and/or diet history.
To introduce the Pick a Better Snack BINGO cards. USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center:

Pick a Better Snack Program:

Team Nutrition:

Iowa Dept of Education – Bureau of Food & Nutrition:

Nemours Foundation Kid Health:

October Let’s Begin Building the Pyramid

The Top of the Pyramid

To identify six components of the food pyramid.
To explain the building blocks of each part of the pyramid

To examine Fats, Oils & Sweets **
Dr. P. Body’s Learning Fun Center:

UIUC Food for Thought:

November Milk Magic: 3-A-Day Program
To examine the Milk, Yogurt, & Cheese Group **National Dairy Council 3 A Day:

Food for Fitness and Fun:

December Protein Power

To examine the Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group **
To discuss the importance of food safety. Fight BAC campaign:

Iowa Beef Council Teach Free:

Pork Council Pork4kids:

January Fitness Fun

To introduce the Activity Pyramid to the children.
To discuss the importance of regular physical exercise into a child’s life.
To demonstrate several new indoor activities that children can use to improve physical fitness.
To have children participate in new activities. President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports – Get up, Get out:

Fitness and Kids:

Make Fitness Fun for Kids:

February Versatile Vegetables:
The 5-A-Day Plan

To examine the Vegetable Group **National Cancer Institutes Eat 5A Day for Better Health:

Pick a Better Snack Program:

5 A Day the Color Way:

March Fabulous Fruits:
The 5-A-Day Plan

To examine the Fruit Group **National Cancer Institutes Eat 5A Day for Better Health:

Pick a Better Snack Program:

5 A Day the Color Way:

April Get on the Grain Train

To examine the Bread, Cereal, Rice & Pasta Group **
Kraft Foods Healthy Living for Kids:

Quaker Oats:

May Wrap-up & Post-test
“Pyramid Party”
To reassess student level of understanding of the concepts covered during the year.
To celebrate the fun and success of the program with the children, teachers, and nursing students.
To complete a summary of activities.
To prepare a final grant report.

*These objectives will be modified when teachers and students nurses get more actively involved in the fall.

** Objectives to be addressed in each food group:
• To explain importance of the food group in building healthy bodies.
• To discuss and show many examples of food that are included in this food group.
• To explain serving sizes and number of servings for each food group.
• To provide tasting samples of at least two foods in the food group.
• To provide snack foods that are illustrated on the Pick a Better Snack BINGO cards for the month and talk about how these snacks can be combined with the food group of the month.
• To work with school lunch personnel to include special foods from this food group in school lunches.
• To develop a take-home packet of educational information and recipes for the parents for the food group.
• To have children generate new ways they can incorporate this food group into their daily diet.
• To identify and implement ideas for incorporation of food group activities across the curriculum.

Letter To the Parents Introducing PABS

September 1, 2004
Dear Parents;

School has begun, and we are excited to share a new project that will be implemented in our schools this fall. Nursing students enrolled in the Luther College nursing program, Public Health Nurses from Winneshiek County, and staff from the ISU Extension Service have partnered with the teachers in the parochial schools in Winneshiek county to implement a unique nutrition educational project. The purpose of this project is to provide a unqiue nutrition education to all children, kindergarten through eighth grade during the 2004-05 school year. At least one day a month will be devoted to nutrition education across the curriculum.

Starting this week, we are beginning a program called Pick a Better Snack. Students will be given a BINGO card with different foods and activities to complete each month. Each month has fruits and vegetables and activities that are seasonally appropriate. They will get recognition and rewards for completing BINGO in any direction, and special recognition for completely filling the card!!

We are asking you to help with this project in the following ways:
• Encourage your child to try these new fruits and vegetable by having them available for healthy after-school snacks.
• Try to incorporate the selected fruits and vegetables into your daily menu planning. If you are looking for recipes, you can check many ideas out at the Pick a Better Snack website:
• Help your child complete the activities on the BINGO cards. Plan the activities as a family for more fun and fitness for everyone.
• Initial each square when your child has completed the activity or eaten the specified food. They should bring the card to school when they have a “BINGO” for special recognition.
• Praise you child for working hard to complete the BINGO project. It can be fun for them to learn about making healthy food choices in their lives.

Beginning in October, nursing students and classroom teachers will develop lesson plans that focus on the food pyramid. Each month, lessons will focus on a different part of the food pyramid helping students to learn the importance of balancing food in their diets and what constitutes a serving size.

If you have any questions or ideas that can help with this project, or you are willing to donate food to the project, please contact the principal at your school. We are looking forward to having you as a partner in this exciting new adventure for your child.

Thanks for your help.

Food, Fitness and Final Report to 4-H Foundation

“A Nutrition & Fitness Education Program In Winneshiek County”
Brenda Ranum, Winneshiek County Extension Education Director

Program Resources included in this final report:
• Program Overview (pgs. 1 – 2)
• Key Outcomes (pg. 3)
• Impact Statements (pgs. 3-4)
• Future Plans (pg. 6)
• Appendix A: Food, Fitness & Fun CD (photos of program with captions
• Appendix B: In-service Materials for Luther College Nursing Students/Teacher Training
o ISUE Power Point Presentation: 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
o Food & Fitness Craze brochure with activities
o “Be Cool With Water” lesson plan
o “Juicy Juice” lesson plan
• Appendix C: Teacher Calendar Plan & Pick A Better Snack Bingo card for August
• Appendix D: End of the Year Letter to Parents and Teachers
• Appendix E: Food & Fitness Celebration Day Resources
o K-2 Schedule
o 3-5 Schedule
o Winneshiek County Food & Fitness Celebration Day Activities
• Appendix F: News Release Samples

Program Overview:
The purpose of this project was to provide intensive nutrition education to all 400 children, kindergarten through eighth grade, enrolled at the four parochial schools in Winneshiek County during the 2004-05 school year. Winneshiek County Public Health had identified over 14 percent of all children enrolled in these schools as being overweight or obese. Additional information showed that 20 percent of the children who attended these schools qualify for reduced or free lunches. Many of the families may have limited resources to purchase the healthier food that will be discussed in the school lessons. Supplemental funds will be needed to introduce health foods as snacks during the school hours.

The goals of the project were:
• to improve awareness of the food pyramid and what constitutes healthy serving sizes.
• to help students identify healthy snacks and alternatives to junk food options.
• to expose students to a large variety of healthy foods.
• to encourage students to become more physically active.
• to improve student’s health with 90r more BMI measurements matching CDC guidelines for children by Fall 2005.
• to expose parents to nutrition and fitness concepts they can incorporate into the home.


Description of Project:
This project was a collaborative effort between senior students in the Luther College nursing program, Public Health Nurses from Winneshiek County, ISU Extension Service, and teachers in four parochial schools in the county. Individuals involved collaborated to provide an interactive and unique nutrition education program for children of all ages attending the parochial schools during the 2004-05 school year. Students went in once a week to the classrooms to complete a nutrition focused activity with youth and school staff devoted at least one day a month to nutrition education across the curriculum.

Summarized below is a list of the groups involved and what each provided during the project:
• ISU Extension provided nutrition and fitness education, activities/lessons and resources for Luther College nursing students to use with youth and the public. Also coordinated Food & Fitness Celebration Days at the end of the school year.
• Luther College nursing students measured heights and weights of each student in September, planned nutrition and fitness lessons with homeroom teachers, and taught lessons on the various parts of the food pyramid each week throughout the school year.
• Public Health Nurses worked with the students to ensure sound educational lessons and helped coordinate lessons and activities with the teachers.
• Classroom teachers in each parochial school developed lesson plans that focused on various parts of the food pyramid, coordinating the lessons with the nursing student presentations and coordinated the Pick-A-Better-Snack Bingo card program.
• School food service personnel helped provide snacks and lunch menus that helped children learn about new foods and healthier choices for eating at school and at home.
• Community Resources (ISU Extension, Winneshiek County Commodity Groups, Grocery Stores, Media, etc.) helped provide materials and food used by the teachers and nurses involved whenever possible.
• Parent volunteers assisted in implementation of the project and for support from home for trying new foods and making healthier snack choices.
• Students at all schools were actively involved throughout the project.

Project Timeline:
• Summer 2004 – Met between various groups to plan and organize school activities. Secured funding for completion of the project.
• Fall Semester 2004 – Completed height and weight measurements of children; began use of the “Pick a Better Snack” BINGO cards; completed lessons on self-image, and three parts of the food pyramid (fats, sweets, & oils – dairy group — meat group).
• January 2005 – Special focus on physical fitness with help from the Health & Physical Education teachers at each school.
• Spring Semester 2005 – Completed lessons on other three parts of the food pyramid (fruit group – vegetable group – grains & cereals). Celebrated with a “Food & Fitness Celebration Day” at the end of the school year. Provide students with BINGO cards for the summer of 2005.


Key Outcomes:
• Approximately 90f the 376 K- 7th graders attending the Food & Fitness Celebration Days in May, 2005 were able to correctly identify the different parts of the food pyramid and approximately 80ere able to correctly identify what constitutes healthy serving sizes.
• Teachers and parents reported an improvement in student’s ability to identify and select healthy snacks and alternatives to junk food options, especially in relation to the Pick A Better Snack program.
• Students were exposed to a large variety of healthy foods through their classroom activities and by school lunch staff introducing a variety of healthy food choices. Teachers, school lunchroom staff and parents reported a strong improvement in the student’s willingness to try new foods, especially before the age of 6th grade.
• All three schools and even their preschools implemented new food policies, asking parents to send healthy snacks from a recommended list of healthy foods.
• Students were reported to have become more physically active. In two of the three parochial schools, the “Go The Distance” program was implemented and students received toe trinkets to put on a key ring; in one of the schools walking paths were made inside and outside the school for students to record the number of miles they were logging; in one school new recreational equipment (balls, jump ropes, etc.) were purchased from Team Nutrition funds to encourage active time during recess; and one school incorporated 10 minutes per day of extra fitness/recess time to encourage physical activity. Teachers reported they felt the students were actually more attentive to classroom work following the physical activity break.
• Student’s BMI measurements will be taken again in the Fall 2005 and matched to CDC guidelines.
• Parents were exposed to nutrition and fitness concepts they could incorporate into the home. At Parent-Teacher conferences nutrition displays were set in the hallways and parents were given a free cookbook that included recipes with healthy foods their children had been eating at school. School newsletters also included nutrition information students were learning at school and how it could be reinforced at home.

Impact Statements:
Statements from three Luther College Nursing Students class journal entries following one of two ISUE 4-H Youth Program In-services using the following resources: “Food & Fitness Craze” activities, ISUE Nutrition information and 4-H Project Nutrition resources:
• Nursing Student One: “I really enjoyed the nutrition discussion. It helped me get a better idea of what activities we could do with the kids and it was also interesting information. Both ladies (ISUE staff) seemed really knowledgeable and excited about the nutrition project. I was a little worried about activities I could do with the older kids (this is the age group I will be teaching), but there were ideas discussed that would be good for that age group.”
• Nursing Student Two: “On this day we went to the ISU headquarters in Decorah to talk to some of their staff about the nutrition education we will be doing in the schools. They provided us some examples of activities that we can do with the kids, which was very helpful because I really did not know what we were supposed to do in the schools. They gave us some great learning activities which I am sure will come in handy throughout the semester. It got me excited to go into the schools and do fun learning activities with the kids.”


Impact Statements (continued from pg. 3):
• Nursing Student Three: “After we got to know each other with the ball toss game, and got warmed up with the Cha Cha slide and the relay race and many other activities, we sat down for an hour to go over the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It was very interesting going through the proportion distortion quiz; I learned a lot and actually became quite disgusted with how food has changed within the last 20 years. I can’t get over how much larger food portions have gotten. The fact that today’s happy meal was the actual meal that people used to buy and eat is amazing. Just compare the happy meal of today with the Big Mac and then super size it. It is ridicules how much more Americans eat; no wonder why obesity is becoming such an epidemic. I was also amazed when Fran stated that “if we don’t make food changes our children will not live longer than us.” That just shows that the food we are eating is harmful to our health. There is no reason with the advances in medicine and health promotion that our kids should be dying at a younger age because of heart and cholesterol related problems! I thought that the Dietary Guideline PowerPoint was very interesting and I think it will serve as a great starting point to pick nutrition topics from. Overall, this day was very helpful in getting me on the right track for going into the schools and providing me with some ideas on the kinds of things that I want to teach the kids.”

Impact statements from Luther College Nursing students upon completing their teaching experience on nutrition and fitness with the parochial students:
• Nursing Student One: “The students responded with enthusiasm to the lessons presented and quickly soaked up much of the information. … The teachers of CFS in Spillville report that the students are more aware of nutrition and are often reminding each other and the teachers of more healthy eating habits. They also report hearing positive comments from the parents of some students. Student, parents, and teachers alike are optimistic and excited about the program, its missions and the outcomes they have witnesses.”
• Nursing Student Two: “Thank you for letting me partake in this program. I hope it continues for many years, since the “Pick a Better Snack” is very educational and appropriate. It is introducing a healthier way for individuals to become more conscientious about nutrition and exercise, as compared to other societal behaviors like fad diets and/or surgeries. Also it is a good thing that we are educating the children young, since most of our eating habits are learned early on in life.”
• Nursing Student Three: “I hope that this project will continue to be funded so new equipment/props/games can be used. It will be interesting to see what effect this program actually has on these students.”
• Nursing Student Four: “I felt that I was able to make a positive impact on both the teachers and the students. I provided additional resources for my teachers, with some pertaining to specific lessons and some that related to information that had not been covered. Both 4th & 6th grade teachers listened to my lessons, and sometimes participated in games. They also helped out when I needed extra hands. … The kids learned a lot about nutrition facts and how to read nutrition labels. I feel this information will help them make health choices today and in their future. I enjoy collaborating with Shirley, the head food service worker at De Sales. She was very welcoming to our advice for Pick-A-Better-Snack recipes and snacks. … I have honestly seen an overall increased interest in food and nutrition since the beginning of the semester at DeSales.”


Impact Statements (continued from pg. 4):
Impact statements from Classroom Teachers upon completing the nutrition and fitness program with the parochial students:
• Classroom Teacher One: “ I felt the program was very beneficial to students. It helped many students make better choices and got students who do not like to be active up walking and running.”
• Classroom Teacher Two: “Very worthwhile program!”
• Classroom Teacher Three: “I loved the Celebration Day! Super!”
• Classroom Teacher Four: “Great idea of a year long theme. We integrated nutrition themes throughout the curriculum. We practiced food pyramid games, read bikes, integrated nutrition information into our social studies unit and did physical exercises as a class.”
• Classroom Teacher Five: “Good information on important issues. A wealth of information and resources.”
Impact statements from Lunchroom Staff upon completing the nutrition and fitness program with the parochial students:
• Cook One: “We incorporated fruits in our breakfast meal and afternoon snacks and that was a change.
• Cook Two: “We were skeptical to try putting out a lot of vegetables for snacks because we thought the kids would just throw them out, but I was surprised. They ate everything and came back for more, especially the K-5th graders!”
• Cook Three: “We had students help us plan our meals and buy the foods!”
Impact statements from Parents following their child’s completion of the nutrition and fitness program with the parochial students:
• Parent One: “We did most of the activities for Pick-A-Better-Snack as a family. He already tries everything but some choices were not part of our regular eating. It was fun to open choices of new foods to everyone!”
• Parent Two:“ I didn’t need to help my child with the Bingo card. She did it on her own and reminded me what to shop for each week. We’ve been trying for a better lifestyle anyway and this helped us make it happen.”
• Parent Three: “I recommend the program continue. What a wonderful program. We enjoyed the Bingo and learned that new and different foods taste good, too.”
• Parent Four: “ I didn’t need to encourage or help my child with her Bingo card. She was ready to try new foods because of the Bingo card.”
• Parent Five: “My child liked dancing & the Celebration Day at the end of the year.”
• Parent Six: “We worked together as a family to become more active by sledding, playing and modifying activities so our kids could participate.”
• Parent Seven: “Our kids were always telling me what we need to eat.”
Impact statements from students following their child’s completion of the nutrition and fitness program with the parochial students:
• Student One: “I loved learning about new foods and playing games. We should do this again next year!”
• Student Two: “I like trying new foods and learning about them. I really liked the Celebration Day and all the games.
• Student Three: My favorite part was the Pick-A-Better-Snack Bingo cards and the prizes we won.
• Student Four: “I liked the extra time we had for recess and learning about being in shape and what to eat to stay healthy. It was fun!”


Future Plans:
• All three parochial schools plan to continue the program in 2005. With the help of our collaborative team (Luther College, Winneshiek County Public Health and ISU Extension) additional funds were received in 2004-2005 to help the schools purchase educational resources they can use in future years.
• Luther College nursing students participating in the Public Health Nursing course will continue to teach nutrition in the public school for 2005-2006, with additional activities being added relating to smoking and personal safety.
• Additional funding is being sought to expand the program into the three Winneshiek County Public schools because of the positive response to the program from the Parochial school staff, parents and students. ISUE, Luther College, Winneshiek County Public Health and Winneshiek County Medical Center are working collaboratively to seek out these funds.
• In July 2005, teams from Decorah Public Schools, North Winneshiek Public Schools and South Winneshiek Public Schools attended the Team Nutrition Workshop in Ames. All three schools will be forming nutrition and wellness teams and will be submitting mini-grants to expand their efforts toward nutrition and fitness education in the schools for 2005-2006.

General Information

· New food pyramid for kids – classroom materials
· USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center
· Pick a Better Snack Program
· Team Nutrition
· Dept of Education – Bureau of Food & Nutrition
· Nemours Foundation Kid Health
· Education Planet
· Food and Nutrition Information Center
· National Center for Education Statistics
· Responsible Healthy Lifestyles Nutrition Education
· Elementary School Nutrition Education — Curriculum for First Graders
· Nutrition Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools
· International Food Information Council: Child and Adolescent Nutrition
· Nutrition Explorations
· Kid’s World
· BJC’s School Outreach and Youth Development
· John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition
· Better Health Channel
· Health Finder
· Family Doctor – Female Athlete Triad
· Kids Health – Eating Disorders
· Test your food label knowledge
· Parents Advocating School Accountability
· Health and Medical Library: Games for Kids!

Reducing Fats, Oils & Sweets

· Dr. P. Body’s Learning Fun Center
· UIUC Food for Thought
· The Healthy Refrigerator
· Eat Smart, Play Hard
· Snack smart for healthy teeth

Dairy Ideas

· National Dairy Council 3 A Day
· Food for Fitness and Fun
· Powerful Girls Have Powerful Bones
· Got Milk! 3-a-Day for Stronger bones
· Science News for Kids
· Great Ideas in Science Symposium: The bones project
· National Institute of Child Health and Child Development
· Eating right the Girl Power way
· Milk and Cookies

Meat, Protein & Food Safety

· Fight BAC campaign
· Iowa Beef Council Teach Free
· Pork Council Pork4kids
· The Incredible Edible Egg
· Peanuts
· ConAgra Foods
· Kids Health
· FDA Kid’s Home Page
· Bacteria in the Cafeteria
· Food Safety – Kids, Teens & Educators
· Hands Hygiene


· National Cancer Institutes Eat 5 A Day for Better Health
· Pick a Better Snack Program
· 5 A Day
· Dole 5 A Day
· Healthy Choices for Kids
· The Fruit Pages
· Nutrition Explorations
· DLTK’s Printable Crafts for Kids
· Fresh for Kids
· Sunkist Kids
· Chiquita Kids
· Easy Kid recipes


· National Cancer Institutes Eat 5 A Day for Better Health
· Pick a Better Snack Program
· 5 a day
· Dole 5 a day
· The Food Pyramid: Three Projects That Teach Kids About Nutrition (junior high age)
· Nutrition Education Lesson Plan (Developed by Pasadena ISD for Junior High)
· Nutrition I.Q. (Junior High)
· USDA Nutrition Education for Grades 7-12
· Audio-Visual Resources
· Nutrition Explorations
· Healthy Choices for Kids
· Fresh for Kids
· Easy Kid Recipes


· Kraft Foods Healthy Living for Kids
· Quaker Oats
· General Mills: Youth nutrition and fitness
· Education World – lessons on popcorn nutrition
· Healthy Choices for Kids
· Kellogg’s Nutrition Camp

Fitness Fun

· President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports – President’s Challenge
· Kid’s Health for Parents
· Fitness for Kids Who Don’t Like Sports
· Make Fitness Fun for Kids