Nutition education offered at SPASH


The Mirror reporter

Are elementary schools really taking the time to teach their students about their nutrition? According to National Center for Education Statistics, only 52 percent of students K-5 have had formal training about nutrition.

Kara Battaglia, a junior at SPASH in the nutrition and wellness course said, “I don’t think I really remember learning much about my nutrition in school, except for when some UWSP students came in for a day. I like this class because get to cook and be taught a lesson at the same time.”

Kristen Lucas, the instructor of the nutrition and wellness course at SPASH said, “Knowledge is power. People build a routine if they are taught it when they are younger and usually stick to that routine.”

A diet that is nutritional or not nutritional doesn’t just affect a person physically but it can also affect a person emotionally. According to Everyday Health, an unhealthy diet is a common factor in depression and sugar has a direct correlation with stress.

Lucas went on to add that, in her opinion, school courses should teach more about the nutritional value of what students are putting into their bodies instead of expecting that parents have done so.

Some of the lessons she teaches in the nutrition and wellness course are serving size/portion control, eating disorders, safety/sanitation, digestion/metabolism, exercise/weight management, the seven dimensions of wellness and nutrition/genetics.

The government has tried to help schools and students understand the basic guidelines of a nutritional meal by introducing the “My Plate” campaign. Although this is a great start for schools, it still doesn’t teach students about what they are really eating.

Madison Rivard, a senior at SPASH and a student in the nutrition and wellness course said, “Personally I love the class. I think I like it so much because I know that I’ll be able to use these skills in everyday life, instead of just in school.”

Lucas would like her students, “to understand that you truly do get out of your body what you put into your body. I want them to understand that I am not teaching them to cut out the unhealthy things they eat completely but to pay attention to what they are consuming and put everything into moderation.”