Parents are an important link to impacting their child's health. Nutrition Education staff work to incorporate parent involvement by being available to work with participating school sites on offering nutrition education through activities such as Harvest of the Month tastings and healthy recipe demonstrations at back to school, open house, and family literacy nights.
Our goal is to increase healthy eating and physical activity among pre-K through 12th grade students attending schools within Humboldt County. We aim to provide teachers, school food service staff, students, parents, and community members the tools and resources to support students in making lifelong healthy choices.
Classroom Based Nutrition Education Programs
Harvest of the Month
The goals of Harvest of the Month are to promote reading and to increase enjoyment and consumption of fruits and vegetables. Over 175 local K-5 grade teachers participate in this program where their students have the opportunity to taste and explore a different fruit or vegetable each month. Along with the featured produce, teachers receive an educator packet that includes a newsletter with ties to curricular areas such as mathematics, science, art, reading and history. In addition, teachers receive a grade appropriate book highlighting the featured produce making a strong connection to literacy
Farm Field Trips
Farm fieldtrips bring students directly in touch with local agriculture. The fieldtrips are designed to connect kids to healthy food in authentic ways ultimately inspiring them to eat more fruits and vegetables. Children learn about where food comes from through hands-on garden based education and enhance their understanding of agriculture and nutrition through cooking and tasting experiences in the garden.
NorthCoast Youth Culinary AllSTARS
Through the NorthCoast Youth Culinary AllSTARS program, after school kids mix math, science, and art as they learn about nutrition and develop cooking skills that will last a lifetime. Children with a particular interest in nutrition and culinary arts then take their knowledge and skills into the community through recipe demonstrations that take place in local grocery stores, and the annual Salsa Recipe Competition.
After School Based Nutrition Education Programs
An extension of classroom-based Harvest of the Month, in the after school program students are given additional opportunities to try the monthly featured produce again prepared in a new way. The goal being that the more children are exposed to a food, the more they are likely to taste it and integrate into a part of their diet. Each month a recipe featuring the Harvest of the Month produce and all necessary ingredients and supplies are delivered to participating programs. Additional nutrition education and physical activity components are modeled at the monthly Redwood After School Network meetings.
Classroom celebrations that commonly take place during the school year are an excellent time to help reinforce healthy eating habits and support school wellness policies. Two to three times per school year, HCOE supports school wellness by assisting teachers participating in Harvest of the Month with classroom celebrations that model healthy eating and physical activity. Past classroom celebrations have included Valentines Day, Cinco de Mayo, Chinese New Year, and the winter holidays.
The Power Play! program compliments Harvest of the Month. The program is designed to teach 9-11 year old children the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and being physically active every day. HCOE staff assists 4th and 5th grade teachers in conducting a minimum of five lesson plans with links to the California Content Standards. Classroom cooking experiences allow students to practice cooking skills in preparing simple recipes incorporating fruits and vegetables found in Kids Get Cookin…cookbook and other resources.