Monday, October 22, 2018

OSCAR Student Shumaila Inayat Develops & Implements a Series of Nutrition Tools

I am one of the research assistants of the summer project CONNECT which is dedicated to developing and implementing a series of nutrition education tools that will support behavior change in a diverse group of elementary-school-age children within the Fairfax area. This program provides enriching nutrition education learning experiences, guided practice, and skill-building in a real world setting. My interest in the science of food and nutrition and the curiosity of how our body processes all the different nutrients got me interested in this project. I also wanted to get involved in something where children are taught about the importance of eating healthy and how their food reaches their tables. Therefore, this project was best opportunity for me to educate them.

I am majoring in public health and minoring in nutrition. My long-term goal is to become a Registered Dietician and work with children. Children are the most vulnerable population and I think it is very important to teach them about the science of food so they can make healthy choices later on in life.

For this project, our team came up with lesson plans that includes nutrition incorporated games, hands-on cooking experiences, and lesson on a nutrition topic each week. It also includes visits to farmer’s market, grocery stores, apiary, greenhouse, food forest, and farm so children can see how their food reach them. Each week we have a pre-test and a post-test to determine how much children know about a certain topic and how much they have learned.

Throughout my research I have discovered that children will always learn if the learning method is made fun and easy for them. Also, children will learn better and faster if they are given the opportunity to get involved. Another thing that I discovered is that it is very important and beneficial to work/interact with others that are not in the same line of profession because of the different ideas that everyone has.