DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) — Second graders from Audubon elementary school in Dubuque visited Convivium Urban Farmstead where chefs and nurses taught them how to eat and cook healthy.
Learning healthy habits
The second graders learned what foods they should be choosing at the grocery store with their parents with a “my plate” demonstration by some of the hospital’s dietitians.
The students also cooked a healthy meal with a few of Convivium’s staff. They cooked zucchini noodle spaghetti.
Growing their own healthy community
The second graders also toured Convivum’s neighborhood gardens in Dubuque’s north end. They got to pick and try different vegetables and fruit like tomatoes and strawberries.
Brittani Felderman, MercyOne Dubuque’s clinical educator and nurse, says the kids also got to plant their own veggie and learned about how to grow their own healthy garden at home.
“They actually get to plant a little green bean plant so they’re going to get to take those home and grow them themselves and see that it’s really not just farms that can grow food.”
Start them young
Felderman says it is important for kids to learn healthy habits while they are young so it can follow them into adulthood.
“At this age they’re still growing and they’re still learning so much,” the nurse explains. “They’ll take these habits home to their parents and they’ll say ‘hey we learned this really great thing’ and that will kind of continue to grow throughout their life span.”
Combating a community health problem
She says MercyOne began the “Growing a Healthy Community” program a couple years ago after finding that Dubuque struggled with obesity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five school-age children will struggle with obesity.
Felderman says MercyOne’s health program for the second graders is designed to combat this growing problem.