Learning Healthy Habits Early

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UPDATED: 2/8/12

Teaching kids early, the right way to stay healthy. It's the Food is Elementary Program-- and it's a collaboration between Marietta Memorial Health System, Marietta College, and People's Bank.

Marietta College students visit a second grade class room once a week for hands on learning of health foods and habits.

And why is it important to eat healthy? Well Marietta Second graders have the answer... "So your teeth don't rot out," says Braden. "So your bones stay healthy and they don't get weak," explains Hannah.

"I think it's important to start young because if they start to like fruits and veggies now, they won't hate them when they get older, I think it kind of gets ingrained in the now," explains Marietta College Sophomore and a teacher of healthy habits, Courtney Kuch.

"I've been learning processed food and how to cut and also like portions," says Hannah as she reflects on her last couple weeks of class.

"They're really loving it and I'm surprised how many of them tried things like green peppers and cucumbers, I was surprised that at least 3/4s of the class tried it and I wasn't expecting that," explains Phillips Elementary School Second Grade teacher Katie Starr.

It's not just about the eating but also exercise, vitamins and germs. Ms. Starr says it's something they're excited about each week and take home to their families.

"They got to wash their hands and put it under the black light and they were really excited to talk about how they could actually see the germs."

This week students learned how to use a knife properly, then they got to try the foods. Students are asked to at least try every food but they are not allowed to say 'yuck,' but instead no thank you.

"They have to provide a good reason why they don't like something but instead compliment it, like, oh it looks pretty but doesn't taste like something I would like," explain Kuch.

The program is once a week for 12 weeks.

Teaming up to fight hunger.

Three local organizations tackle the all too common problem. They're doing it by education students while they're young.

The Memorial Health System, Marietta College, and Peoples Bank collaborate to teach second graders the importance of eating healthy and reasonably. The Memorial Health System says it's about starting early to create good habits for the future.

"Hunger isn't just about not having enough food, it's also about eating the right food and we want them to do that so that they can perform better, they can develop healthier lives and lead a better lifestyle," explains Marietta Memorial Hospital's Director of Marketing and PR, Jennifer Offenberger

As part of the pilot program, Marietta College Students will be teaching second graders about the keys to healthy and responsible eating.

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