Healthy Connected Communities – Teens Engaged in Healthy Eating

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Teens and staff attending Teen Nutrition Workshop at the YMCA of Eastern Union County Elizabeth Branch on a recent Friday afternoon.

 YMCA of Eastern Union County and Trinitas Regional Medical Center joined together through their work with Shaping Elizabeth are impacting teens for healthy living by serving up 5 nutrition classes on Friday afternoons.  26 Teens in our BFL (Building Future Leaders Program) sponsored with the City of Elizabeth are engaged in spirited conversations about healthy nutrition choices lead by Michele S. Ali, MPA, RD, Director, Food & Nutrition at Trinitas.

 Ms. Ali has prepared a curriculum which not only imparts information but engages the teens by building on their knowledge, Ms. Ali, stated “I am just amazed by the questions they asked about nutrition because you get the feeling that they have really given some thought to what they are asking.” I was surprised to know that one of the students knew what the deficiency for vitamin C was…He stated it’s “scurvy.”

 Teen Nutrition 1

Michelle Ali, MPA, RD Director, Food & Nutrition at Trinitas leads YMCA teens and staff through a discussion on Better Breakfast Choices.

Some of the topics include: Better Breakfast Choices, Healthy Eating for Teens, Fiber – How to add to your diet, Fast Food Healthy Options and Looking at high calorie, high caffeine energy drinks.  The teens have input into topic discussions.  By engaging the teens in these topics we are hopeful that their choices will be healthier and based on facts, which will lead to the development of healthy habits for a lifetime.  Maybe they will be able to influence their families and friends too!   

 The YMCA of Eastern Union County, Trinitas, Regional Medical Center, Groundwork Elizabeth, The City of Elizabeth, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, Rutgers and Michael Baker Corporation are working together for Shaping Elizabeth to improve the health and well-being of the residents of the City of Elizabeth.

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