Collegiate Lower School Program Fosters Nutrition
Collegiate School operates a nutrition program in the Lower School that educates JK-4th Graders on the importance of making good, healthy choices at lunchtime and beyond.
The program, developed in collaboration with Aladdin at Collegiate, features the Fantastic Five, a cast of characters who represent the five food groups — Frankie Fruit, Danny Dairy, Priscilla Protein, Victor Veggie and Gracie Grain — and reinforce the importance of moderation, variety and balance in a student’s diet. On occasion, five Lower Schoolers will participate in Lower School Town Hall where they take the stage wearing costumes that represent the Fantastic Five, to help their classmates get excited about healthier eating.
The program also incorporates in-class lessons as well as hands-on demonstrations from the Aladdin staff in Centennial Hall, the Lower School cafeteria. Students will also receive tools that allow them to practice their good eating habits at home, such as monthly menus, a refrigerator magnet and stickers they can use to track their after-school consumption of items from each food group. Parents also receive brochures that provide details about the program and how they can be supportive.
The Fantastic Five program is an initiative in Collegiate's wellness programming, which synergizes with Collegiate’s six-year-old Link It & Live It program.
“The focus of Link It & Live It continues to be on healthy eating, sleeping and physical activity and how together they impact the heart, brain and body,” said Kathy Wrenn, Chairperson of Collegiate's Physical Wellness Committee. “We see this nutrition program as an extension of Link It & Live It.”
Each month, one of the five food groups is represented. September features Frankie Fruit with different varieties of pears being highlighted. On “Try It Tuesdays,” all students — even those not on meal plan — will have the chance to try foods from the month’s featured food group.
“We believe we are at the forefront of a trend in education and are excited to not only introduce the Fantastic Five to the Lower School but to begin working on an age appropriate program for the Middle School,” said Christine Branin, Director of Auxiliary Services.
And most importantly, the program will instill an interest in healthy eating that Collegiate hopes will sustain Cougar students for years to come.
“The lunch room is a teaching platform for developing lifelong, healthy eating habits,” said Mrs. Wrenn.