Students digest food facts during 'Nutrition Week'

Tuesday marked the beginning of La Cañada Elementary School’s first-ever Nutrition Week, a schoolwide effort to teach students how to take care of their bodies through what they consume and why proper nutrition is so essential to their overall health.

The idea for Nutrition Week came from a group of parents who are passionate and knowledgable about healthy eating and wanted to bring the message of better eating to the entire campus. Dr. Annette Langer-Gould and Chieko Masciandaro are co-chairing the La Cañada Elementary PTA-sponsored event.

“Our goal is to teach our kids about nutrition in order to help them make informed choices about the food they eat,” said Shelley Beck, a PTA nutrition representative. “We want our kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, make water their beverage of choice and get active.”

Several 30-minute classroom presentations were given by parent volunteers throughout the week. Each class, depending on grade level, learned something different about nutrition and making healthy food choices. .

First- and second-graders were taught about the food pyramid and the importance of eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and drinking lots of water. Third- and fourth-graders learned about portion sizes and sugar content in popular beverages. Fifth- and sixth-graders discovered how to find out the fat content of popular fast-food restaurant items.

Today, second- through fifth-graders will attend an assembly called the “Amazing Food Detective,” which teaches basic nutrition principles, encourages exercise and reinforces the importance of eating fruits, vegetables and drinking enough water. Sixth-graders will learn how to read nutrition labels and how advertising can impact an individual’s food choices.

The highlight of Nutrition Week comes on Friday, when a lunchtime cooking demonstration will be held in the outdoor science center. The demo will allow kids to make their own healthy snacks and see firsthand how tasty nutrition can be.

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