Medical Nutrition Update

Medical Nutrition Update

“The first wealth is health.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Medical Nutrition Mid-Summer Update

Last week was our final week in camp. We have a lot of exciting photos and events to share in the coming weeks about our partnerships, but I wanted to take a moment to share what FHC alumnus, Naomi Davis, has been doing with our students this summer. As you may know, Naomi is our Student Success Mentor this summer. We have been so blessed to have her with us in between her semesters in Pharmacy School. 

She has been in charge of piloting a youth medical nutrition program. The program is devoted to educating participants about the profound impacts and advantages of healthy eating, aiming to foster intuitive prevention of
future disease diagnoses and mitigate potential health complications.

I wanted to share an excerpt from Naomi’s update to her schooling program.

The Felege Hiywot Center Summer program implemented a medical nutrition pilot program to educate high school students about the therapeutic effects of nutrition. The program aimed to familiarize students with the importance of healthy eating to prevent future diseases and health complications. To assess their existing knowledge, a 10-question quiz was administered based on the North Carolina Department of Agriculture website, covering topics such as energy sources and nutritional value of citrus fruits. The students’ performance on the quiz was moderately satisfactory, with an average score of 4 out of 10 and the highest score being 8 out of 10.

Rather than traditional lectures, the medical nutrition lessons encouraged active engagement, critical thinking, and educated guessing. This approach stimulates the cerebral cortex, enhancing learning and memory retention. The first lesson, held on June 10th, focused on brain function and its physiological processes. The lesson accommodated diverse learning styles and included a questionnaire on nutrition labels and vitamins. The following session included engaging minute-to-win-it games.

The initial game was a crossword puzzle competition, introducing terms like neurotransmitter, mineral, central nervous system, and acetylcholine. The crossword puzzle offered a mix of easier and more complex nutrition-related concepts, requiring deeper thinking from the students. The subsequent game was a lively round of Pictionary, promoting teamwork and reinforcing understanding of different food groups.

They also dissected a frozen pizza, analyzed its nutrition label, and engaged in a budgeting challenge to create a homemade pizza. The minute-to-win-it games and the budgeting activity received positive feedback from the students, who found them enjoyable and engaging.

The third session focused on the respiratory system and Juneteenth. Students participated in hands-on activities such as a matching game, word search, and learning vital signs. They also created a fried chicken recipe. The incorporation of Juneteenth themed activities alongside the medical nutrition content was well-received. The following session focused on the digestive system and gut health, with activities including a timeline match and determining true/false statements. Students faced challenges initially but showed perseverance and collaboration in acquiring new knowledge. The activities allowed them to learn from their failures in a low-risk environment.

The third station of the digestive system session included a crossword puzzle on vitamins in probiotics and a yogurt parfait station where students created their own parfaits and developed nutrition labels for their creations. The students actively participated and enjoyed the hands-on activities, although they faced challenges and expressed frustration due to knowledge gaps. The overall effectiveness of the program was praised by the students, who appreciated the interactive and personal nature of the lessons.

Thank you for your support! 
Aster Bekele