What We Do: Nutrition Education

Providing nutrition education in more than 100 schools

The Food Trust Solution

The Food Trust's Project PEACH (People Eating and Cooking Healthy): Growing Healthy Communities nutrition education program works in over 150 schools and outside-of-schooltime programs, largely as part of the Pennsylvania Nutrition Education TRACKS Program (SNAP-Ed), in Chester, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, the Lehigh Valley and the Lansdowne area (William Penn School District), reaching over 65,000 students. The Food Trust also partners with the Campbell Soup Company to provide nutrition education in Camden schools and preschool programs.

The School Breakfast Policy Initiative is designed to prevent overweight and obesity in fourth- to sixth-graders over a two-year period, in collaboration with Temple University’s Center for Obesity and Research Education (CORE). The study, which will run through June 2016, will develop and evaluate a program that combines classroom feeding, in-school nutrition education, social marketing and parent outreach. The program promotes the benefits of a healthy breakfast and discourages the consumption of foods high in energy, solid fats and added sugars.

The Food Trust's School Nutrition Policy Initiative in Philadelphia, funded through and listed as a best practice by the United States Department of Agriculture's SNAP-Ed program, was shown to reduce the number of children becoming overweight by 50%. Based on these findings, the American Heart Association named the initiative one of the top 10 major advances in heart disease and stroke research. 

The Food Trust's nutrition education programming includes:

  • The Preschool Initiative, which teaches young children the value of choosing healthy foods through tasting snacks that are locally grown, reading books about how food grows and reaches our tables and how to improve the environment in preschool settings to promote healthy eating and physical activity.
  • The Kindergarten Initiative, winner of the Victory Against Hunger award by the Congressional Hunger Center, focuses on learning about and experiencing farm fresh foods through cooking in the classroom and farm trips which invite parents/caregivers to join the class to learn about the benefits of enjoying locally grown food.
  • Cooking in the Classroom, which offers older students a hands-on cooking experience and  food preparation, shopping and meal planning skills. Older students also dive deeper by investigating energy balance and their local food environments. Students analyze food labels and the availability of food in their neighborhood corner stores.
  • Participation in back-to-school nights, report card conference days, school health fairs, after-school programs and special workshops for parents/caregiver to reinforce what the children are learning in the classroom.
  • Teaching youth healthy eating habits and providing support for teachers, including nutrition education training and curriculum and follow-up lessons and nutrition education materials.

Resources

Nutrition Ed Brochure Cover

Growing Healthy Communities: The Food Trust's Approach to Nutrition Education

Through a community-based approach to nutrition education and healthy food environments, The Food Trust’s PEACH (People Eating and Cooking Healthy) program works to improve food access and teach lifelong skills in lower-income communities, empowering SNAP-eligible individuals, families, schools and communities to live a healthy life.

pages from the preschool initiative

The Preschool Initiative: Building a Healthy Foundation for Life

This toolkit is designed to be a resource for preschool teachers, teachers’ aides and preschool center administrators interested in developing and providing a nutrition and physical activity program like the Preschool Initiative in their centers. It offers curriculum guidelines for success and encourage centers to tailor the program to its own needs.

pages from the kindergarten initiative

The Kindergarten Initiative: A Healthy Start to a Healthy Life

This is the story of how The Food Trust created the Kindergarten Initiative, a program that promotes healthy eating through education, snacks from local farms, parent involvement and community support. For teachers, policymakers and parents searching for ways to teach children about making nutritious food choices, this toolkit will be a valuable resource. The Kindergarten Initiative is a practice-based intervention recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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