Educator Idea File: What Are You Up To?

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“I usually try to see what food group(s) the client needs help with and wants to work on to achieve their goal. Then I show him, her or the parents where to look for recipe sites to get healthful foods for their meal or snacks. I try to help them get a few main course meal ideas. They can work on side dishes, and if they get stuck they can call me for more help.” – Mary

“Use a baby bottle filled with red colored water and another one filled with corn syrup dyed red. Ping pong balls inserted show how red blood cells move or do not move when blood sugars are high. I use this in classes and with individuals in counseling.” – Kathryn Simons

“When teaching the plate method for portion control, I recommend that they put the vegetables on the plate first and then the meat and the starch afterwards. This way the vegetables will take more space. If they put the meat and starch on first there is often not much space for the vegetables.” – Chris Loudon

“We are developing a skit using life-sized fruit and vegetable costumes. Their old friend Pecos Plate has had an Extreme Makeover and they don't know where they belong anymore. The fashion designer and fitness trainer are helping them find their new home.” – Deana Hildebrand

“I have seen food samples and sugar cubes or teaspoons of sugar in a zip-lock next to the item with the number of teaspoons per serving. I've also seen a burger, fries and drink put into a blender and pureed. All the fat goes to the top after it sits for a bit. You can see the fat content in your lunch. Also, families don't know what a serving is for their child. Most things are for adults. Examples of serving sizes and ways to make food child-friendly – colors, textures, etc. always are helpful.” – Debbie Still

“We are developing training-specific meals for our high school athletes that will be availalbe as USDA reimburseable school meals. Students will attend sports nutrition sessions conducted by an RD and their complete training needs will be available in the school cafeteria.” – Sara Schmitz, RD

“We plan to use the Supersize Me video to do employee education sessions at our health center and eventually carry it over to the high school and other departments within the community.” – Beth Scheelk

“I have students use food labels to put lower fat and lower calorie items into recipes. They put in the new information into the computer (at and then print out the new calorie and fat numbers. Then they actually make both dishes and see if the calories saved have an impact on taste.” – Shari Portnoy, MPH, RD.

“In cooking with families, the more generations we have the better. They cook together and they actually challenge each other to expand their list of food choices. Family peer pressure works wonders.” – Margrethe Horlyck-Romanovsky

“We're planning to offer an 8-week Healthy Eating With Aging class this fall. We will talk about setting goals and we will help individuals set and review goals each week. We will also pass along nutrition information, do a cooking demo and have the class members bring in their favorite healthy recipe for a healthy eating book at the end of class. We will also offer a walking class before or after the class.” – Danielle Krueger, RD, CD.

“If you look at how many calories are in a whole box of cookies (usually 2,500 or more) or a whole cake, pie or other hihigh-calorie item, you will be more aware of the damage of buying a large box or item versus just a small pack or single serving.” – Judy Doherty

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