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Good Nutrition Goes to School

Posted on Monday, May 7, 2012

good nutrition goes to school

Registered Dietitian Janette Gaumer discusses food taste and texture with kindergarteners at Thornton Elementary School.

For Immediate Release
May 7, 2012
Contact: Michele Hutchins
(603) 238-6468

Good Nutrition Goes to School
Speare Dietitians Part of Nationwide Program

PLYMOUTH, N.H.— Speare Memorial Hospital’s Dietitians Janette Gaumer and Jean Baker are taking their healthy lifestyle message to local elementary school classrooms this spring. The dietitians are part of a nationwide program called Kids Eat Right, an effort by nutrition professionals to educate young consumers—and their parents—on steps that everyone can take to develop good eating and exercise habits.

The dietitians focus on a few key messages when they visit classrooms, encouraging kids to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, stay physically active, and think twice before they reach for a sugary beverage.

Both dietitians are parents themselves, and they have a good idea of what response they’re going to get when they invite students to try an odd-looking fruit or a vegetable that they usually pass up on the lunch line. But most of the students readily give these foods a try, and most agree to taste a new fruit or vegetable next time one shows up on their plate. The dietitians’ goal is to get kids thinking early about nutrition and prompt them to make small changes—such as choosing a piece of fruit over a sugary snack—that can help them maintain a healthy weight as they grow.

A Speare Memorial Hospital-produced newsletter sent to all the elementary schools helps extend these ‘healthy eating and active living’ messages to parents. A recent issue encourages families to try their hand at gardening, and offers some ideas for constructing a backyard obstacle course that challenges kids to stay active.

The main idea that Kids Eat Right would like to communicate to parents is that kids learn best by example, so they encourage parents to involve kids when possible in shopping for food and in meal preparation, and then sit down together to enjoy the meal. Easy recipes and suggestions of activities that parents can do with their kids are posted weekly on their website at www.kidseatright.org.
Speare Memorial Hospital —a 24-hour, acute care, non-profit community hospital and health care provider serving Plymouth and the communities of central New Hampshire—is nationally ranked as a HealthStrongTM: Top 100 Critical Access Hospital. Visit online at www.spearehospital.com and join us on Facebook.