Eat Your Greens 5: Last Day of Nutrition Class

It’s late in the spring at McGlone Elementary in Denver, where Miss Hardy and her class of fourth graders are getting ready for their last nutrition class of the school year. To begin the lesson, Miss Hardy asks her students, “Who thinks they’re a nutrition expert or a food expert?”  A class full of eager hands shoot up. These nutrition experts have been learning about healthy eating and nutrition all year through the Integrated Nutrition Education Program. Miss Hardy reminds the students of all the ways they’ve worked together, cutting, chopping, mixing, frying, trying not to spill. She reminds her students that some came in at the beginning of the year, saying, “Oh yuck Miss Hardy I’m not trying that. It’s horrible. I hate that!” Then she smiles her students, adding, “But you tried it and what happened?” A student named Carlos grins back at this teacher. “They liked it.” 5th Grade Teacher Miss Hardy[/caption] Miss Hardy says that many students have discovered that a new food can often be a tasty food. And that’s one of the key point of the Integrated Nutrition Education Program. It teaches elementary school children better eating habits by encouraging variety in the diet. Launched in 1993, the project is funded by the Food Stamps program, the federally funded food assistance scheme for low income families. Kathy Romaniello, an instructor in the department of pediatrics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, in the Coordinator of the Integrated Nutrition Program. She says that the program strives to get kids exposed to a wider variety of foods and primarily fruits and vegetables.