In Camden, NJ, Lively Lessons About Healthy Eating Start Early

By Hadas Kuznits

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — In an effort to encourage good nutrition among school-age children, a South Jersey charter school is teaming up with Americorps, the national volunteer service organization, to teach students how to make healthy snacks.

Today, kids at the Camden Community Charter School were getting nutrition classes taught by Americorps member Erin McKenrick.

Her lesson this month was about the new food pyramid, which McKendrick had the students depict like a pie chart on a plate.

“Half your plate should be fruits and vegetables and the other half grains and protein,” she explained.

Kindergarteners learned about healthy food choices by making their own sandwiches on whole wheat bread.

“We eat peanut butter and banana with bread — it tastes really good!” said one youngster.

McKenrick notes that a lot of the kids here were not familiar with fresh vegetables.

“When they would describe it, it was from a can — like, green beans from a can — and they had never had it fresh,” she tells KYW Newsradio.

She taught them about making healthier choices.  In her words, “More natural foods and less frozen foods and canned foods.”

She says educating children about healthy eating is especially important in locations like Camden, which has lower-than-average access to fresh foods through supermarket distribution.

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