Romeoville university students impact nutrition at Bolingbrook school

Making healthy food choices includes adding fresh fruit to your diet.[]

ROMEOVILLE – Nutrition and activity levels have improved in the last three years at St. Dominic School in Bolingbrook, reported Nanci Reiland, assistant professor in the Lewis University College of Nursing and Health Professions.

The elementary school just completed the third year of the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) program, facilitated by Lewis University students enrolled in the Community Health course in the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

The Catholic university was using a three-year grant to implement healthy food and physical activity needs to local elementary schools.

The future nurses taught the children about healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and not-so-healthy food choices, such as the high sugars in cans of pop. The children learned to make healthy choices in a fun environment that encouraged them to think outside the box.

This year, the final year of the grant, the nursing students taught the children about policymaking, explaining what policies are and how they can make their school a healthier place. Small groups of seventh- and eighth-grade students worked to create a health policy and present their proposal. The winning policy was “Walk On,” a plan to facilitate activity during the recess period.

The “Walk On” group members were recognized with a special prize and all the middle school students received certificates of participation. With assistance from Lewis University nursing students, the “Walk On” plan will be developed by spring 2018.

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