Students learn how to make good choices at corner stores: Fruit Snacks – No. Fruit- Yes.

Bloomfield Health and Human Services is bringing our message of the Healthy Corner Store Initiative to the community.  We have partnered with William Paterson Nursing Students, Chris Balbin and Adrian Nwosu, seen here leading 5th graders at Carteret and Watsessing Elementary School.  They created this presentation to help students understand how they can make healthier choices when shopping at the corner store before or after school.

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The students were engaged and had lots of questions.  Some wanted to know the difference between these popular sports drinks and other juice beverages.  Others wanted to know what is in tonic and seltzer water.  We talked about the increased amounts of sugar in most beverages, and the concept of “empty calories.” Then defined for the students what a nutrient is and how, as health-conscious consumers, we want to eat food that offers the most nutrient bang for the buck.  We listened to the children tell us about their knowledge of MyPlate.gov and how they have learned to properly read food labels.  We discussed the reasons for having healthier choices – decreasing chronic diseases like diabetes, to maintain a healthy weight, and to improve their performance and focus in school and sports.

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Afterwards, we had the students complete a brief survey to get a better idea of what they are more likely to purchase, and we were able to clear up some misconceptions of what healthy is.  Some thought that fruit flavored gelatin snacks are healthy – NOT.  How about dried mango, cranberries, or raisins.  Nuts – get the low salt or no salt option.  Juice – check that label.

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What an awesome day at the school with the young ones!!

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