The North County School District is promoting nutrition and fitness for their students.
Ruth Rose, who is serving her 18th year as a Nutrition Professional, is the director of the Nutrition Service Department at North County and is taking decisive actions to ensure students, teachers and parents get informed; eat right and stay fit.
Rose has made it her mission to create a healthy school nutrition environment with the hopes that it will carry over to healthy eating and exercise habits at home.
Good nutrition during the school aged years is vitally important to help children grow strong, succeed in school and establish healthy eating habits. Poor eating habits prevent children from reaching their full potential. And poor eating habits combined with sedentary lifestyle or lack of physical exercise, contribute to overweight and obesity among children.
The incidence of overweight children between 6 and 11 years of age in the United States has doubled in the past 20 years, and tripled for adolescents 12 to 19 years old.
Poor eating habits are contributing to a lack of nutrition in the diets of American children. More than 60 percent of children and adolescents in the US eat too much fat and saturated fat, and not enough fruits and vegetables.
It is estimated only 39 percent of children get enough fiber (found in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes such as lentils).
Eighty-five percent of families don’t consume enough calcium, and over the past 25 years milk consumption for adolescent females has decreased by 36 percent. Between 18 and 20 percent of calories consumed by children comes from added sugars.
Overweight children have higher rates of Type II diabetes, high levels of blood lipids, high blood pressure, early malnutrition, bone and joint problems, and are more likely to experience discrimination and low self-esteem.
Moreover, overweight children and teens are more likely to become overweight adults who are at an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and gallbladder disease.
Rose is trying to do something about it.
She believes that nutrition education is the key. She has developed a Nutrition Services Department website to promote nutrition education, healthy eating and the importance of physical exercise.
The website is designed to benefit students, parents and teachers in the district, as well as the community.
Rose is also a member of the district’s Wellness Committee that has developed a comprehensive Wellness Policy that outlines the district-wide guidelines and goals for creating a healthy campus and for promoting lifelong wellness.
You can visit the interactive and user-friendly website at http://www.ncsd.k12.mo.us and click on Parent Information Tab and then Cafeteria Menus and Raider Wellness.
There are interactive nutrition lesson plans, nutrition videos, slide shows, nutrition games, fitness calendars, educational activities and healthy recipes.
Rose prides the success of the nutrition department on the team of food and nutrition professionals that serve students each day. They share her focus on health and well-being of students. They know good nutrition combined with physical activity will make children feel better and perform better in school.