The nutrition education and healthy eating initiative is a state-county health department partnership and aims to increase the likelihood that low-resource community members and their children can make healthy food choices. To meet this goal, the Black Hawk County Health Department delivers traditional nutrition education along with social marketing strategies and policy, system, and environmental change initiatives.
Our school-based nutrition education is also known as Pick a better snack. Pick a better snack brings fruits and vegetables into the classroom for kindergarten through grade three students in Waterloo Community Schools (WCS). Nutrition educators teach 30-minute interactive lessons once a month. Kids learn about different fruit and vegetable together with the importance of eating healthy. As part of the program, kids get to see, touch, smell, and taste fruits and vegetables. They also hear what makes them so good, where they grow, and ways to eat them.
The community-based nutrition education and healthy eating initiatives facilitate Policy, Systems, and Environment (PSE) change within and beyond the school settings. PSE strategies include: enabling school and community-based gardens, initiate or expand distribution of garden produce to families, promote farm-to-table (use of local produce) initiatives, expand opportunities for parents, students, and community to access fruits and vegetables and work to establish or improve food/beverage or nutrition-related policy (childcare wellness, school wellness, workplace wellness, etc.). The Black hawk county also partners with local stakeholders to enhance or expand physical activity facilities, equipment, structures or outdoor space, physical activities, and wellness policy.
If you are someone from schools in Waterloo Community School District or Black Hawk County community member interested in learning more about our program and the support we provide related to related both school-based and community-based nutrition education and healthy eating program, please call the Black Hawk County Health Department 319-291-2413 ask to speak to our nutrition education coordinator.
For more information visit https://idph.iowa.gov/inn/pick-a-better-snack.