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Nutrition education program Nutrition Pathfinders teaches children how to make healthful food choices.

by Trina Panasci Robertson, Daniel R Zalles
Journal of nutrition education and behavior


Nutrition Pathfinders© is an interactive school-based nutrition education program developed by the Dairy Council of California for third, fourth, and fifth grade students. It is designed to reinforce the Food Guide Pyramid and to help students learn how to make healthful food and physical activity choices that minimize the risk of overweight and obesity, as suggested by the Surgeon General. It aims to increase their knowledge and help them differentiate between healthful and unhealthful behaviors and then change their behavior accordingly to improve snack and meal selections and increase active play. Individual lessons include hands-on activities in which students track what they know about nutrition, what new information they have learned, and what they want to learn. To determine the program's effectiveness and identify areas for improvement, an evaluation was conducted in the spring of 2003. The evaluation investigated teacher and student satisfaction with the program, instructional and logistical factors affecting implementation, and observable changes in student knowledge, attitudes, and self-reported food consumption behavior after using the program. The results suggest that an interactive school-based nutrition education program can successfully influence student knowledge and attitudes toward nutrition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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