News & Events

Students commit to becoming StrongKids

April 15, 2013

New program brings health education to local schools

Engaging children, teaching children, and connecting children with resources in their community — that is the vision of the Backus StrongKids program.

Recently developed by the Corporate Communications and Community Relations

Department, the Backus StrongKids program brings health education to students right in their own schools. It strives to help children reach their highest potential for health, by bringing programming and services to them, in their communities.

With plans to unfold an eight-week health education program, students of Kelly Middle School and Teachers’ Memorial Middle School in Norwich are the first to become Backus StrongKids. StrongKids officially kicked off on Tuesday, April 9, as Sarah Hospod, a Backus registered dietitian, presented “An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away” — a program on healthy eating habits.

Backus-StrongKids-logoMs. Hospod began her interactive presentation by providing information on “My Plate,” which is a visual representation of how many grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables a person should eat in a day. Students participated in preparing and tasting food at different stations. One station included low-fat yogurt, blueberries and granola to make yogurt parfaits, while at another station, students prepared a trail mix with honey-nut Cheerios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, prunes and dried cranberries. The last station allowed students to taste hummus and vegetables, a food many had not tried before.

Lisa Cook, RN, MSN, Community Health Education nurse said,

“This program was developed to provide a fun, interactive approach to eating healthy,  increasing exercise and activity, as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle.”

According to Ms. Cook, students were enthusiastic about Backus StrongKids. Comments included, “I like everything about this program, it was excellent.” Others said, “I liked learning about healthy foods…I liked the food and healthy ways to eat tasty things.”

To provide the most suitable programming to the students, the community education staff developed a survey and distributed it to students participating in the after-school A.S.P.I.R.E. program at Kelly and Teachers’ Memorial. Students voted on which topics interested them the most.

Getting kids involved in hands-on healthy food preparation, and teaching them about nutrition and the importance of exercise are the makings of a Backus

StrongKid. Together, we can help create the health champions of tomorrow.