Healthy Pokes: On A Mission for Better Nutrition!

Nordhus, Courtney
Health and wellbeing are prized attributes many strive to attain. Nutrition and physical activity are both crucial components of health. Proper nutrition is important for all people and has significant implications on the prevention of chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and certain cancers. Childhood obesity is concerning because it not only predisposes children to developing debilitating health-related conditions as adults, but it also can greatly impeded their ability to fully experience their childhood. They may struggle to play sports, be accepted among peers, and enjoy a sense of self-confidence among a plethora of other issues. Healthy Pokes is a newly launched after-school program in the Laramie area that started in the spring of 2014. Healthy Pokes targets at-risk children in grades 3 through 8 and provides a multidisciplinary and longitudinal approach to address the health of children in Laramie. The nutrition component of this program aims to provide informational and interactive lessons to educate students about proper nutrition and healthy eating choices. The nutrition lessons, supporting materials, and lesson-specific snack recipes were developed in spring of 2014 and refined and edited based in fall 2014 based on participant engagement. Lessons were then compiled into a resource that can be referenced in the future by a teacher wishing to deliver an age-appropriate series of nutrition lessons on a variety of nutrition subjects including dairy, protein, fruits, vegetables, grains, MyPlate, healthy beverages, healthy snacking, lunches, hunger, and nutrition labels. Good nutrition habits should be established at a young age and teaching the principles of nutrition is crucial for an appropriate understanding of proper nutrition. When implemented appropriately, this can significantly benefit a child's health and future disease risk.
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University of Wyoming Libraries