Child Nutrition Programs & School Nutrition

New Professionals

Public Health and Wellness

Art and Science of Food

FNCE 2018

177. Culinary Demonstration: Chef in the Classroom - Cooking and Nutrition in K-12 Curriculum

Sunday, October 21
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
CE: 1.5

Session Level 2 - Intermediate

Has the art of cooking been lost? It is evident that many children are lacking this fundamental piece of nutrition when they venture into the real world. They are likely not learning how to cook nutritious meals at school or at home. However, many links can be made between standards required to be taught in the classroom and nutrition and cooking. This session will showcase how to develop and integrate nutrition education and hands-on cooking into the K-12 core curriculum. Attendees will learn ways to make this programming accessible and sustainable through partnerships with school foodservice and academic staff, community partners, parents, dietetic interns, and volunteers. Being a safe and familiar environment for students, the classroom serves as a prime venue for teaching children and adolescents cooking and nutrition basics. This, ultimately, helps to promote mental and physical well-being that can shape long-term behaviors surrounding food.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Need Codes:

  • 4080 - Government-funded Food and Nutrition Programs
  • 6040 - Education theories and techniques for children and adolescents
  • 8110 - School foodservice

Alena Clark, PhD, MPH, RD, CLC

Alena Clark is currently a Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. Dr. Clark’s current research focuses on developing and evaluating programs that support breastfeeding working parents. She serves as a lactation counselor for her community. She earned a Ph.D. in Human Nutrition at Colorado State University, a M.P.H. in Public Health Nutrition at the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in Nutrition and Dietetics at Concordia College. Dr. Clark is a registered dietitian nutritionist and has worked in various settings including hospitals, public health agencies and academia. She is involved in many organizations that advocate the need to promote healthy lifestyles for women, children and infants including advisory boards for preconception health and breastfeeding coalitions. Dr. Clark has been involved in The Academy on the local and state level where she has served as President, President-Elect, Nominating Committee Chair, Treasurer and the Colorado House of Delegates Representative.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Alena Clark

Rebecca Robbins, MS, RDN

Rebecca Robbins, MS, RDN, is the Nutrition and Menu Specialist for Greeley-Evans School District 6 in Greeley, Colorado. For the Nutrition Services department, she helps enhance the health and nutrition of school children by planning nutritionally sound menus that conform to federal and state regulations. She also oversees the special dietary needs process, manages grant writing and evaluation, and aids in providing a link between the areas of Nutrition and Student Wellness. She received her B.S. in Nutrition from Plattsburgh State University, completed her dietetic internship at Cornell University, and earned her M.S. in Community Nutrition from Colorado State University. For her master’s, she investigated the factors influencing parent decisions related to eating outside of the home, and families’ practices and food choices in the restaurant environment. She is actively involved with the local and national nutrition community, and is passionate about child nutrition, food justice, local food systems, nutrition education, and nutrition research.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Rebecca Robbins

Rachel Hurshman, MPH, RDN

Rachel Hurshman is in her sixth year as Wellness Coordinator for Greeley-Evans School District 6 in Greeley, Colorado. She works in the nationally recognized Nutrition Services Department leading student and worksite wellness, plus serving as preceptor for dietetic interns. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, School Nutrition Specialist, and has her Masters of Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health. Rachel believes teaching students and staff how to cook is a key tool in nutrition education and lifelong wellness. Just last school year alone, over 1,500 students in District 6 participated in the Chef in the Classroom hands-on cooking and nutrition education program. Rachel has presented on her work in the district for multiple organizations and conferences including the Arizona Department of Education, Colorado School Nutrition Association, University of Northern Colorado, Colorado School of Public Health and Colorado State University.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Rachel Hurshman

Rebecca Robbins, MS, RDN

Rebecca Robbins, MS, RDN, is the Nutrition and Menu Specialist for Greeley-Evans School District 6 in Greeley, Colorado. For the Nutrition Services department, she helps enhance the health and nutrition of school children by planning nutritionally sound menus that conform to federal and state regulations. She also oversees the special dietary needs process, manages grant writing and evaluation, and aids in providing a link between the areas of Nutrition and Student Wellness. She received her B.S. in Nutrition from Plattsburgh State University, completed her dietetic internship at Cornell University, and earned her M.S. in Community Nutrition from Colorado State University. For her master’s, she investigated the factors influencing parent decisions related to eating outside of the home, and families’ practices and food choices in the restaurant environment. She is actively involved with the local and national nutrition community, and is passionate about child nutrition, food justice, local food systems, nutrition education, and nutrition research.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Rebecca Robbins


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177. Culinary Demonstration: Chef in the Classroom - Cooking and Nutrition in K-12 Curriculum

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