High school nutrition program focuses on health, not weight
By: Tracy Mendez, RDN
High school health, science and PE teachers all across the United States are looking for a nutrition program that is comprehensive, current and—most importantly—fun. Eat Move Win fits the bill. Eat Move Win is an interactive, five-lesson program that empowers high school students to take small steps to better eating and healthier habits.
Created in collaboration with registered dietitian nutritionists and education professionals, Eat Move Win provides an engaging learning experience for students while leveraging technology to help teachers work smarter, not harder.
In this series, the experiences of four teachers who have used and loved Eat Move Win will be shared. Read on to see the solution Eat Move Win offered a teacher looking for an approach that didn’t focus on calories or body weight.
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Leigh taught ninth through 12th grade health classes at Carmel High School in Carmel, California. Leigh had been a teacher for only a few years and was the sole health educator at her school.
During Leigh’s first year of teaching nutrition to high school students she depended on her own judgment to create up-to-date lesson plans. The existing materials were completely outdated so she had to find an alternative.
While many high schools in the nation struggled with obesity as their most pressing health issue, Carmel students struggled with issues surrounding body image. For this reason, Leigh was looking for an approach less focused on counting calories and more focused on nutrients and the importance of eating healthy, balanced meals.
Although it might be assumed that body image was an issue among female students, the larger problem had to do with boys, specifically those on the wrestling team, tending to starve themselves to qualify for a lower weight class. Another problem was “having muscles and appearing as ‘cut’ as possible down at the beach.” Leigh needed a top-down nutrition and healthy lifestyle training program.
Leigh was introduced to Eat Move Win by her director of student services. Going online to dig deeper, Leigh was pleased when she found that the coursework was centered on nutrients and deficiencies, with little to no focus on calorie counting.
She found that content covered the importance of eating nutritious food, as well as the reasons for setting good habits at a young age to support long-term health. One of Leigh’s key attractions to Eat Move Win was that the information in the materials was meticulously up to date and as correct as possible.
Leigh found that implementing Eat Move Win was seamless. The quizzes in the package were challenging for her junior and senior students and really pushed her ninth graders to think hard. She liked the way the materials incorporated real-life stories such as bone breakages of NBA players.
Leigh introduced Eat Move Win to all four of the classes she taught and continued to educate her students on the impact of sticking with nutritious eating habits. While the school’s vending machines still might have carried unhealthy snacks, those who took her class knew to pick a healthier alternative, and they often did.
Visit Eat Move Win to learn more about our online high school nutrition program.
Tracy Mendez, RDN
Tracy Mendez, RDN
Tracy Mendez, Nutrition Education Program Director, is a practicing registered dietitian nutritionist with expertise in empowering through education.
Data collected from pre- and post-surveys in the 2019-2020 school year shows increased nutrition knowledge and improved eating behaviors.
Builders can accompany Dairy Council of California’s curriculum for further learning or stand alone to introduce a nutrition topic.