It's been said everything we need to know we learned in kindergarten. Some 4th graders in Yankton are proving they still have a few things to learn to improve their diet. Nancy Naeve Brown has more on a healthy partnership between Avera Sacred Heart, HyVee and the Yankton School District.
7 years ago Avera Sacred Heart Hospital and their Registered Dietitians at HyVee in Yankton decided they wanted to help make a shift in what kids were eating for snacks at school and at home after school. The rainbow of colors we are used to seeing in the fresh produce aisle at HyVee are now available for 4 graders in the Yankton School District. A partnership on principal we spoke with appreciates.
Melanie Ryken is the Principal at Webster Elementary in Yankton. She says, "The Yankton School District thinks it's very important especially in today's society when funding is an issue. There are things HyVee and Avera help us do that we wouldn't be able to provide. We are thankful for the partnership."
Avera Sacred Heart Dietitian Rachel Schram-Pinos tells us why they are targeting 9 & 10 year olds.
Rachel says, "They are more likely to make their own decisions. They are starting to learn about the digestive track they are starting to learn about thing in health. They are more in control of what they eat and what they do and they are trying to be little adults."
A lot of parents don't offer vegetables like tomatoes or peppers because they assume their kids won't like them. But Rachel says when offered those items they will and do eat them.
Rachel Schram-Pinos is a registered Avera Dietitian at Yankton's HyVee says, "Obviously, we have a problem with obesity and will help with that. All vitamins and nutrients that are in there it help them grow more. We've learned that if kids are exposed to fruits and vegetables when they are younger they'll eat it more when they are adults. "
Rachel says we should get 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. A serving is a half a cup. She says she knows that sounds overwhelming but if we choose them as snacks and cover our plate at mealtime with a wide variety of colors it's definitely doable.
Rachel says, "South Dakota is number one in the nation for the lowest vegetable intake so if we can teach children to start eating them at a young age, they are more likely to eat them as adults."
Principal Ryken says, "It encompasses a lot of things not just healthy eating habits, but exercise too. I think with the resources they provide for us, in addition to things we are already doing in the school it can only make the kids that much healthier."
If an apple keeps the doctor away, think what snow peas, bell peppers, papayas and pears will do long term.
The Avera HyVee Dietitians host different events throughout the school year both at HyVee and in the Yankton schools.