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NAC: Student Voices for Healthy Choices at Peachland Elementary

EDUCATION

Posted: April 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.

The Peachland Elementary students' Nutrition Advisory Council group with posters made for National Nutrition Month in March. Courtesy photo

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The fifteen 4th, 5th and 6th grade NAC representatives, Nutrition Advisory Council, at Peachland Elementary School eagerly applied, and were elected by classmates, to be part of the council at the beginning of the school year for a variety of reasons.

Aubry Privett shared that she ate candy every day and wanted to learn to eat healthy while Micah Bob wanted to learn more nutritious choices. Brooke Thomas wanted to help her school and tell people about eating better.

These “Student Voices for Healthy Choices” have been doing just that by means of sharing the messages of the NAC meetings with their classmates and the entire school through take-back messages, public service announcements and posters.

The goal is to promote both healthy eating and physical activity habits. These students are also a link between the cafeteria, the classroom and the community.

Sixth grade teacher, Paul Zamperin, is Peachland’s NAC Advisor and assists Sue Peak, RDN, the Nutrition Educator for the Santa Clarita Valley School Food Services Agency, with coordinating the program at the school.

“I know myself that I need to eat healthier and I see that sometimes students don’t make good choices about eating,” Zamperin said. “Having students meet with Sue has helped students realize the value of a healthy diet.”

Among the hands-on topics that the students have covered are MyPlate, Spot the Block (label reading), food safety and sanitation, making half your grains whole grains, healthy holiday treats, the role of advertising, “Re-Think your Drink,” the importance of breakfast, grocery shopping and physical activity. Eating out healthfully is also a hot topic.

With the month of March being National Nutrition Month, the students had an increased focus on spreading the message to “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” the theme for the month.

They performed special morning announcements and worked hard to complete posters that “sell” fruits and vegetables with colorful artwork and clever slogans.

Peachland is one of four SCV schools with an active NAC group this year.

At Wiley Canyon the NAC students judged posters that the 4th grade students made for National Nutrition Month.

Mint Canyon students helped sponsor a NAC Olympics this spring to link the messages of healthy eating and physical activity through events such as the MyPlate relay races, the Carrot Hop and Strawberry relay.

Newhall NAC students joined the other schools in taste testing items being considered for inclusion in the school lunch program.

When asked if they felt they have made a difference at Peachland, the students responded that they have.

Gavin Leising shared that his friends ask him what he talks about in NAC and he spreads the messages by telling other children to exercise 60 minutes a day and to take in less sugar.

Stephanie Castillo observed that people are making smarter choices. Nadia Diaz feels that more people are eating healthy!

The entire student body at Peachland looked forward to the weekly announcements and fun trivia questions that highlight healthy eating advice.

Are you “Enjoying the Taste of Eating Right”? Ask one of our NAC students how you can do just that!

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