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Improving the Health and Wellness of Clay County Students

April 23-27, 2018 is Every Kid Healthy™ Week, an annual observance created to celebrate school health and wellness achievements and recognized on the calendar of National Health Observances. This special week shines a spotlight on the great efforts being made to improve the health and wellness of kids and the link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning – because healthy kids are better prepared to learn!

UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program partners with the School District of Clay County to provide a combination of nutrition education strategies, accompanied by supporting policy, systems, and environmental interventions, such as school gardens, to facilitate adoption of food and physical activity choices and other nutrition-related behaviors conducive to the health and well-being students.

Students in kindergarten through second grade participate in Youth Understanding MyPlate (YUM) lessons. YUM is a curriculum designed by UF to teach children the messages of My Plate through experiential learning activities that encourage healthy eating choices. Each lesson contains learning and physical activities and a healthy snack that reflects the content of the lessons. Third and fourth graders discover what fruits and vegetables are sweetest, crunchiest, and juiciest through a series of investigations and fun experiences connecting the school garden to the classroom, though the Great Garden Detective Adventure curriculum.

The UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program works to empower individuals and families with limited resources to take control of their health. We teach people how to eat healthy on a budget and to get physically active to reduce the risk of obesity and chronic disease. In addition to the nutrition education provided in schools, we offer programming for child care centers and other community partners. For more information about our free programs in Clay County please contact Annie Sheldon, aasheldon@ufl.edu or 904-284-6355.