STxIH’s registered and licensed dietitian, Amanda C. Longoria, led four interactive presentations on healthy breakfast choices for 400 3rd-6th grade students at Harry Shimotsu Elementary on Friday, September 30, 2011. The presentations, which were held during each grade level’s P.E. class, included a simple guideline to follow when deciding what to eat (“Choose naturally occurring foods.”) complete with an explanation and illustrations.
With the help of Coaches Cabrera and Guerra, Amanda led the students in a game of Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right, to encourage healthy breakfast choices.
Amanda discovered from the children that a major barrier to eating breakfast is a lack of time, so she brainstormed different “backpack-friendly” breakfasts that the kids can take on the run.
A particularly poignant moment in the 5th grade P.E. class occurred when the students expressed why they thought nutrition was important for good health. One student mentioned that he never met his grandmother because she passed away from diabetes complications.
Clearly, the students have firsthand experiences of the toll chronic diseases, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, take on their family members and loved ones, especially since such diseases are so prevalent in the Valley.
Good nutrition can start at any age, and a registered dietitian, the nutrition expert, can provide people with guidance as they decide what to eat.
Children have the opportunity to set a precedent of wellness to follow their entire lives. Thank you, Harry Shimotsu Elementary, for supporting the health of your students!
Special thanks to Anthony Limón, principal at Harry Shimotsu Elementary, for supporting STxIH’s community outreach and education initiatives. Amanda would also like to thank Olga Valdez, the school nurse, Coach Cabrera, and Coach Guerra for coordinating the logistics of the nutrition instruction. A very special thank you also goes to Kara Lizak, a 4th grade student at Shimotsu, who helped Amanda plan her lesson and made sure that it was kid-friendly.