Students learn healthy ways

Jackie Reed from the WSU Extension office teaches first grade students about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. (Empire Press photo/Suzanne Robinson)

 

By Suzanne Robinson
Empire Press Correspondent

Students at Waterville Elementary School are learning about good nutrition and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Jackie Reed from the Washington State University Extension office in Waterville has been in classrooms since April 10 teaching students in first through fourth grades about making wise choices in food and living habits.

Some of the topics covered are about the basic food groups, what whole grains are, fruits and vegetables, reading food labels, healthy snacks, drinking sufficient water and the benefits of staying active.

“Two weeks ago in the lunch room, the elementary students were given the opportunity to taste test a jicama,” Reed said about one of the lessons of the program.

Jicama is a crispy and sweet root vegetable which resembles a potato in physical appearance. It has been cultivated in South America for centuries and the vegetable is quite popular in Mexican cuisine. Most of the students who tasted the jicama liked it.

Reed explained that the classes are a six-week curriculum offered to schools that have 50 percent or more of their students on free or reduced cost lunch programs.

Reed has also visited schools in Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Cashmere and Leavenworth.