Bluffton University and Lima City Schools have teamed up for research on healthy eating.
Once a week for the next six months, a team of ten dietetic interns from Bluffton University along with their coordinator will be presenting "Crave the FAV". They will conduct educational activities about fruits and vegetables, to a group of second-grade students at Freedom Elementary.
The dietetic team will be determining the impact of the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program with the produce sponsored by DNO Produce.
"There’s a couple young guys that are involved with DNO that really felt like the fresh fruit program is great, but it could do so much more if it really focused on the educational part," said Jennifer Little, dietetic internship coordinator at Bluffton University. "Getting kids to understand and learn more about the health benefits and what fruit and vegetables are because the more they know the more likely they are to continue the pattern of eating those fruits and vegetables beyond the school day."
Carrie Woodruff, food service director for Lima City Schools said this program has been piloted before and they found success with students eating more produce.
"It is something not available at this point is any educational materials to go with the USDA fresh fruit and vegetable grant," Woodruff said. "We’re hoping that we get some results that we can share it with other people and use it as an educational tool."
The interns in the program have completed their undergrad and will use this to prepare for their future.
"Gaining an understanding on the impact they can have on the next generation," said Little. "We don’t just tell people information and send them out of our office or send them home from the hospital we want them to make a change for the positive and hopefully have a healthier life as a response to what we’re doing with them."
The dietetic interns are studying to take the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Exam.