March 13, 2007
Contact: Kaylyn Kendall Dines
Phone: (973) 972-3000
Union County Youth Visit UMDNJ for Fun, Games and Food
- Programs Offered in Celebration of March is National Nutrition Month -
SCOTCH PLAINS — In recognition of the National Nutrition Month observance, two nutrition education programs have been coordinated for Union County youth and will be held at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 1776 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains.
Nutrition experts at the Food and Nutrition Education Center at the UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions in Scotch Plains will host interactive programs for high school students. These programs will reinforce the theme, “100% Fad Free,” which was established by the American Dietetic Association for this year’s national observance.
On Thurs., March 15, from 10:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., youth from Union County will sip smoothies, taste healthy snacks, and play nutrition education games. Dietitians and dietetic internship students will facilitate culinary demonstrations while discussing how freshmen and sophomore students from the Union County Academy of Allied Health Sciences High School can establish a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
“We believe interactive games and activities are essential in helping the teenagers establish proper nutrition habits,” said Gerri McKay, clinical coordinator of the Dietetic Internship program at the UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions. “Healthy eating is a choice and it is important to choose foods wisely. During this program, we hope the boys and girls discover practical recipes that can be used during breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time.”
The students will rotate through five nutrition stations. The themes at each station are: “Getting Your Eating Plan Back to Basics using “My Pyramid” and the USDA’s dietary guidelines”; “Balancing Food Choices and Physical Activity”; “Ask the Dietitian: Is Your Diet Made Up of Fact or Fiction?”; Don’t Be Fooled, Fads Aren’t Cool”; and “It’s Time to Patrol Portion Control.”
Cooking demonstrations will feature recipes and show youth how to make a Tootie-Fruitie Smoothie, Breakfast Yogurt Parfait, “Flax” Flap Jacks, and sensational salads without salad dressing “sabotage.”
On Saturday, March 24, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Raritan Valley Chapter of Girls Scouts will visit UMDNJ’s Scotch Plains campus for a “UR What You Eat” program featuring the following workshops: Food Safety Tips, The Bonus of Breakfast, Reading Food Labels, Identifying Food Portions, Choosing Healthy Fast Food and Careers in Dietetics.
Call Kaylyn Dines at 973-972-7276 to arrange an interview with Gerri McKay, RD, M.Ed.
UMDNJ is the nation ’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.