The Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ “Connections” program expands youth nutrition by exploring and highlighting effective and innovative strategies for educational program delivery. This tool is a curriculum that “connects” educators, students and parents with the SNAP Program. The Family & Consumer Science FCS students receive nutrition and child development training and then serve as Student Nutrition Volunteer Aides at the elementary level.
- Pilot Tested
During fiscal year 2004, the curriculum was pilot tested in four New Mexico counties and four school districts. The original curriculum was revised through suggestions made by participating teachers, nutrition educators and students. Since the beginning of the program, there have been 19 FCS teachers, 43 third grade teachers, 195 student nutrition aides and 738 third grade students who have participated in the program. The program is beginning to start in schools across New Mexico at this time, with expectations to see an increase in participation statewide.
Using many of the Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ campaign’s materials, Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ “Connections” was designed to “connect” program school districts, FCS departments and teachers, third grade classes, parents, and students.
It centers on a five lesson series, with each of the first four classes designed to be taught by Nutrition Educators and the fifth class is designed to be taught by a student nutrition aide. Student aides are middle and high school students who have successfully completed the Eating Right is Basic Enhanced curriculum and received training to work in the elementary setting. The basic topics for each lesson are congruent to the main themes of Eat Smart. Play Hard.™: balance and moderation, healthy snacks, physical activity, and breakfast. Some basic kitchen equipment (such as a toaster oven or oven, blender, measuring cups and spoons, cutting boards, plastic knives, etc) may be required for some recipes. The program meets several standards and benchmarks from the areas of Health Education, Career Readiness, Physical Education, Science and Mathematics for students in grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 and all are listed accordingly.
Included with the curriculum is instructor’s program guide, and tracking and evaluation materials. A 15 question “Power Quiz” based on the materials in the session is also included for evaluating student knowledge.
Program is available electronically (free) or distributor can send a CD by mail (at small cost to cover shipping and handling).