NARRATOR: According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, since 1980 the prevalence of overweight children ages six to eleven
years has increased from 6.5 percent to 18.8 percent. In response to this alarming trend,
schools are focusing more on teaching nutrition and physical activity, as well as implementing
wellness policies and other requirements. All these requirements can leavin one feeling
a bit overwhelmed; however Show Me Nutrition can help you make sense of these requirements.
Show Me Nutrition is a comprehensive nutrition education curriculum for students in pre-kindergarten
through eighth grade and provided by the family nutrition education programs University of
Missouri Extension. Trained educators teach students about nutrition and physical activity
at your school using the Show Me Nutrition curriculum. Robin Bishop teaches at David
Barton Elementary School and recognizes how important this can be.
ROBIN BISHOP: Any principal in any school would be blessed to have her come in because
it helps the kids become more aware. As a teacher, I didn’t take a class in college
about how to teach nutrition and that wasn’t something that we, you know, you don’t focus
on that in college. But it’s so important to teach them how to take care of themselves.
NARRATOR: Janine Reynolds from Pinkerton Elementary appreciates that the program comes to her
classroom. JANINE REYNOLDS: This is an excellent program
that Extension is doing. It comes directly to the students while they’re in their safe
environment, we don’t have to go out, everything they need is provided, even so much as the
one on one and all of it is geared to their grade level and age.
NARRATOR: The Show Me Nutrition curriculum uses hands on learning, allows kids to taste
healthy foods, is developmentally appropriate, flexible as to the number of lessons taught
and it’s free. The Show Me Nutrition curriculum supports your school’s wellness policy, helps
teachers adopt healthy behaviors, increases students nutrition knowledge and improves
their healthy behaviors. Our nutrition education contributes to your school’s high quality
curriculum enhancing your review for the Missouri school improvement program.
Susan Williams is principal at David Barton Elementary and has seen firsthand the changes
in students at her school. SUSAN WILLIAMS: We used to order and serve
lots of doughnuts, now we don’t do that as much, offer fresh fruit and unsweetened
things as much as we can. And kids, even when there are doughnuts, or cookies or things
like that for breakfast will often choose the fruit or the unsweetened cereal instead
of a traditional sweet breakfast. NARRATOR: Students learn how to make healthy
food choices, the importance of washing their hands and other food safety skills and had
to be more physically active. Show Me Nutrition teaches Show Me education standards, meets
health and physical education at grade level expectations and aligns with grade level expectations
from other areas such as math and Communication Arts where appropriate.
Susan Williams has seen this put into practice. SUSAN WILLIAMS: As a principal, we have grade
level expectations that all children have to reach at each grade level and nutrition
is one of those objectives. We have to make sure children are introduced to certain facts.
When we have Extension service in to do that, we know that each child at each grade level
receives the same up to date information. If classroom teachers were presenting that,
some would present it with more enthusiasm than others, or might not have quite as much
information, and this way I’m sure that each student has a good background in nutrition
education. NARRATOR: Teachers have also reported positive
changes in student behavior as a result of Show Me Nutrition. 62 percent of students
make healthier meal and snack choices. 66 percent of students were more willing to try
new foods. 47 percent of students increased their physical activity. 82 percent of students
improved hand washing. SARA LOESING: I’ve had the program in my
classroom for the past 11 years and I’ve definitely noticed significant changes. I
allow them to have a snack in the morning, because we have the late lunch shift everyday,
and their snacks have changed from potato chips, Doritos, that type of snack to fruit,
carrot sticks, wheat crackers, that type of thing. So I’ve definitely noticed a difference.
I also heard some discussion, we get a choice between two different entrees for lunch and
if it’s a hard decision, they’ll say, “Well, I’m going to pick this because
it’s healthier.” Their activity level will change because they have more energy
and they’re going to participate better in class. I don’t have as many students
that are “Sleepers” that I used to see, you know, not getting as much sleep, but if
they have a good breakfast, a great lunch, they’re energized, they’re ready to go
for the day. TINA SHEA: Part of the program has been to
play some kind of a game using the food groups and I see them imitating that game out at
recess or they’ll be talking at lunch about some of the foods they wish they had and usually
it’s something they were exposed to in the program. So they definitely carry it on with
them and we like to go for recess anyway. We jump rope and run around and we talk about
how important activity is and they definitely relate it to the program also.
NARRATOR: Robin Bishop has observed improve hand washing among her students.
ROBIN BISHOP: And I hear kids say, “Ms. Bishop, he didn’t use soap,” or “he
didn’t wash his hands.” Miss Ivy often has them do their ABC’s while they’re
washing their hands so they wash them long enough to actually get the germs off and so
you hear a lot of those kind of comments. So in terms of activities I’ve seen the
changes, not only what they do at recess and how they play at PE, but also the activities
in keeping themselves healthy. NARRATOR: Teachers report changes in their
own behavior as well. 56 percent of teachers model or talk about being more willing to
try new foods with students. 70 percent of teachers model or talk about hand washing
with students. 67 percent of teachers model let’s talk about making healthier meal or
snack choices but students. 54 percent of teachers model or talk about being more physically
active. Robin Bishop has made changes in her beverage choices as a result of having the
Show Me Nutrition program in her classes. ROBIN BISHOP: I’ve gotten to where I buy
juice or I buy water so that what I do grab or what I bring in is giving the kids a good
model for what they should be drinking. Other faculty have changed as well. We’re trying
to be more health conscious and we’re talking about replacing our soda machine with a juice
machine here at school. So I think we’re all trying to be more health conscious because
we are models for the kids. Whether we intend to be or not, they pick up on pretty much
everything you present to them whether you’re intending them to catch it or not.
ASHLI TATUM: I think it gives it a positive effect, not only to the kids, but the workers
around here, because we sitting in on the classes too, so we’re also getting feedback
from the classes. We’re also learning how to eat healthier, how to exercise and stay
healthy also. So I think it’s a wonderful effect on the community as a whole.
NARRATOR: Students and teachers aren’t the only ones benefiting from this program. Children
bring home school news letters that include recipes for foods they’ve tasted during
class and then share what they’ve learned with their families. These newsletters are
part of the pre-kindergarten through fifth grade curriculum. Carol Ivy, a nutrition program
assistant describes the changes in eating habits in one student’s family.
CAROL IVY: I had a parent come up to me last year and she said to me, “It’s because
of you, that we now are experiencing whole grains in our meals now. Because it was information
that was brought home to my child, not only through the newsletters, but through the teaching
of it that whole grains were much better for us and so we decided as a family that this
is what we were going to do. We were going to try the whole grains.
NARRATOR: It’s easy to understand why 97 percent of teachers who participated last year want
the Show Me Nutrition program again. SARA LOESING: It is so helpful for us. There
are so many things that as instructors we’re required to teach and when you have an expert
that comes into the classroom with these fun games and this enthusiasm, it’s just remarkable.
So, we’re just really lucky to have it here. NARRATOR: Word of the program’s success
is spreading throughout Missouri. ANDRE PARKS: I know that there are other facilities
that are using your program which is a good sign that you guys are doing something positive.
NARRATOR: To begin Show Me Nutrition in your school contact your local regional coordinator
to determine if your school meets income guidelines. Contact information is included in your Show
Me Nutrition brochure. To have the Show Me Nutrition program as a no cost curriculum
in your school, you’ll be asked to complete some or all of the following documents: agency
contribution match form, salary and wage form, consent certification form. Your regional
coordinator or nutrition program assistant will discuss these documents with you in more
detail. Your students can enjoy the same kind of benefits that the Show Me Nutrition program
has brought to children through Missouri. Contact your regional coordinator to bring
Show Me Nutrition to your school or community center.