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Free Nationwide Nutrition Education Resources and Programming Available.

Good nutrition is imperative to help fuel kids' minds and bodies as they maneuver through another year of academics and school activities. One in three children stepping into the country's classrooms are faced with being obese or overweight,. putting them at risk for diabetes and other diet-related diseases, according to a news release from the nonprofit nutrition education organization Common Threads. Compounding this problem is the food insecurity confronting 12.3 percent of U.S. households, posing a threat to the health and academic achievement of millions of children.

Encouraging Lifelong Habits

Common Threads is gearing up to combat the childhood nutrition crisis with its free online resources and in-school programming, offering hands-on programs designed to promote lifelong healthy habits.

Accessible from any desktop, Common Bytes equips families and educators across the country with the tools needed to offer online nutrition education to pre-K through eighth grade students.

Once online, visitors will have access to healthy recipes (including SNAP-certified options), nutritional information, how-to and educational videos, interactive games, pre-K through eighth grade lesson plans and other resources, the news release stated.

"Children are empowered to be agents of change for healthier families, schools and communities across the country through our programs. Common Bytes supports our current programming and substantially extends our reach," said Linda Novick O'Keefe, Common Threads' co-founding CEO, in the news release. "Now, not only can children in Common Threads programs continue to learn about nutrition, but wellness advocates and aspiring kid-chefs across the country can access our research-based tools and resources."

A recent evaluation of Common Thread's Small Bites program during the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior meeting in Washington, DC, showed that it significantly increased the number of students who answered nutrition knowledge questions correctly, who eat a variety of vegetables at least once daily and who show their families how to cook at home, according to the news release.

The Small Bites curriculum teaches children about nutrition and healthy cooking through a series of lessons combining math, language arts and science concepts with knife-free cooking. The lessons are aligned to National Health Education Standards and support Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

More Children Enrolled

In 2017, Common Threads served 97,234 children. For the 2018-2019 school year, Common Threads expects to serve at least 100,000 children.

"The health disparities we see today are preventable, and we have seen that our approach helps children learn valuable lessons they can use to lead healthier lives," said O'Keefe. "Cooking is a fun, beautiful way to take care of ourselves and each other."

Common Threads continues to grow its school year programing with the support of contributors who share their passion for making America's children healthier. For every $25 donation, one child can participate in a Common Threads program, noted the news release.

* For more information, visit www.commonthreads.org/backtoschool.

Source: prnewswire.com, 9/24/18

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Title Annotation:Tools for Schools
Publication:Curriculum Review
Date:Nov 1, 2018
Words:484
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