Creating Healthy Eating Choices for Kids (CHECK) is a health promotion program which focuses on healthy nutrition for school-age children and their parents in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) of South Texas.The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s (UTRGV) Border Health Office (BHO) will expand our proved Creating Healthy Eating Choices for Kids (CHECK) program with Check Plus! through a partnership with Donna ISD’s 14 elementary Schools.
- All Donna ISD 4th grade students (approximately 1,200 students) will participate in the project, beginning in the spring semester (2017) of the 4th grade year, and concluding in the spring of the 5th grade year (2018).
- UTRGV nursing and dietetics students will deliver nutrition education lessons over a two- month period to students at each campus, with curriculum divided into two modules of three sessions each.
- Schools will construct above ground gardens on each of the 14 school grounds by the end of April 2017 and students will plant and harvest fruits and begin learning how to maintain the gardens. In this way, they will gain a broader understanding of where their food comes from.
CHECK Plus! will also incorporate the following new activities:
- Perform weighted plate waste analysis at several points in the project to measure changes in fruit/vegetable consumption by students.
- Introduce Nutrition Creation Stations (one per school), where students can make their own salads and smoothies with fresh fruits and vegetables. The stations will include blenders and salad carts funded by the grant. Students will create themes for their Nutrition Creation Stations, e.g., using a “super hero” theme, promoting a fruit and vegetable of the week, holding contests/competitions for the healthiest, best tasting smoothie, etc.
- Donna ISD will hold a district-wide end-of-project community garden celebration/fruit and vegetable feast. Students and their families will view the results of the project and receive fresh fruits and vegetables to take home.
The CHECK Plus! Project will include 14 on-site facilitators, one per campus, to assist with the district/campus activities, including creation of above ground gardens, nutrition education lesson schedule, coordination of kick-off event and district-wide end-of-project community garden celebration/fruit and vegetable feast, and photo and video documentation of project.