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Building Healthy Snack Recipe Contest

Jennifer Christenson,   Madison Middle School
Access to Healthy Foods
On Monday, March 7th, we announced over our school's intercom the beginning of this Nutrition Play. We had the Idaho Dairy Council's cow costume for two separate days. We used the costume to kickoff this event. Our Student Ambassadors & the Idaho Dairy Cow helped us deliver the rules & string cheese to each classroom. As they passed out the rules, a few of our Ambassadors shared the importance of eating protein and explained how protein fuels the body. The students enjoyed the string cheese and the presentation our Ambassadors made. We found that by going to each classroom individually, we were able to share specific information about the program/contest, and answer each teacher's specific questions better. For three days leading up to the recipe contest, we shared healthy snack recipe ideas through colored picture posters and morning announcements. We had twelve of our Ambassadors help the night before making the snacks. Our Madison students partnered with the BYU, Idaho Health Education students to complete this task. It was fun to watch the Health Education students interact with our Ambassadors and provide support to them as they made the snacks.. The preparation night went well and the Ambassadors were excited to share the healthy snacks with our students in the morning. On Thursday, March 10th- our Ambassadors arrived at the school at 7:45 a.m. to help unload the car and set up for the event. The healthy snacks the Ambassadors help make were: smoothies, apple sandwiches (made with granola and peanut butter), apple roll-ups (cheese, turkey, apple), cheese wraps (warm tortillas and cheese), ants on a log (celery, peanut butter and raisins), and trail mix (granola, nuts, and raisins). Our Madison Middle School students were excited to taste test our healthy snacks. They were lining up to taste test as the buses arrived at the school. The Dairy Council's Cow costume was a big hit. As the event was getting underway the cow went around the crowd of over five hundred students and had fun taking pictures and giving high fives to the students and faculty! Also, during the event, our Student Ambassadors did a great job helping to pass out the snacks and with crowd control. The kick-off event was a hit and later that day we passed out the contest rules and let the students know about the contest deadline to submit their healthy snack recipe in the morning of Thursday, March 24th. The finalist will be announced later that day and will make their recipes at school the next day for the judges (two administrators, two teachers and two cafeteria workers). The contest finals will be announced at the end of each recess in the lunchroom. The goal of this program is to help our students gain new "Healthy Snack" ideas they can make at home. We hope the exposure of these snacks along with learning about vitamins/nutrients in their Health classes will help them make healthy food choices.

How did you accomplish your goals?

We created a recipe contest to help our students tie their learning to an activity they can share with their family. Our goal is to use this interactive activity to help students get excited about the learning how to make healthy snacks. Also, our Fuel Up to Play 60 ambassadors will help us create a recipe book to share with all students. We want students to share this book with their families and enjoy making the healthy snacks listed in the recipes.

What improvements have you seen at your school?

We have seen students get excited about this program and are making recipes to share with our school. Our students are much more conscientious of making healthy snack choices. They see colored posters of these snack ideas and we hear many students talking about making these snacks for their family. Also, our health teachers are helping our students learn the importance of eating nutrient-rich foods. All of these steps are helping our students make healthier choices.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

Our Student Ambassadors are working with our health and physical education teachers and college student interns to help complete this Play. This collaboration effort has made it possible for our team to facilitate each part of this play. Without help it would be much harder for our Student Ambassadors to understand their role. We are very happy to have so many adults mentoring our students.