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On this blog, we share regular updates about the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners partnership between Extension's Children, Youth & Family Consortium and Bruce Vento Elementary School.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Good Food is Good Mood!

By: Maks Luthra

“How many languages do you speak?” asked a third-grader. Ignoring my elementary skills in French, I answered, “Two.” She grinned and proudly said, “I can speak three!” It was great to see the kids at Bruce Vento Elementary School expressing pride in the diversity they bring to the school.

I started my Tuesday morning with a walk along the school garden and also attended a nutrition class with Jennifer Ogren. The garden looks fabulous and neat with the new raised beds and mulch around them.

The stage is set!

Jennifer is an EFNEP community nutrition educator and has been conducting nutrition classes for third graders at Bruce Vento. Part of this class is spent covering nutrition and the other part cooking. The theme of this class was to engage children in a discussion about healthy eating and teaching them how to make yogurt parfaits. The students looked enthusiastic as Jennifer introduced them to MyPlate by asking them to categorize the food stickers into four categories: Fruits, Grains, Proteins, and Vegetables. The concept of helping students learn how to make healthy choices is the primary focus of these classes.

Third graders participating in the MyPlate activity.
The kids were excited to see the tropical fruits like kiwi, pineapple, and bananas cut and spread across the table and wanted to learn more about these fruits. Some children shared stories with other students on how yogurt is made from milk in their homes. The students carefully observed the process of layering in glasses and were thrilled to try the delicious, easy-to-make yogurt parfaits.

I wish I had the opportunity to take more pictures and capture the excitement of the students as they tasted the yogurt parfaits. I even saw some students reading and memorizing the brand name and type of yogurt to make sure they can replicate the taste of the parfait when they try it on their own.

Investing in early childhood nutrition is a surefire strategy. The returns are incredibly high!
— Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox Corporation

Stay tuned for updates on what’s cooking at Bruce Vento.


Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Learners is an ongoing partnership between the Extension Children, Youth, and Family Consortium and the Bruce Vento Elementary School. Together, along with many other partners, we are developing engaging learning environments that promote student learning and wellness.

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