Nutrition lessons get kids on the right track

We’ve been told it’s hard to break bad habits. That’s part of the reasoning behind a new initiative aimed at promoting healthy eating habits for young, school-aged children.

Congratulations to those responsible for the Food Is Elementary pilot program. Internet nutrition activities are being presented to Marietta City Schools’ second-graders through a partnership with Memorial Health System, Peoples Bank and Marietta College.

Phillips’ second-grade teacher Katie Starr summed up the philosophy well in an article that appeared in Friday’s paper: “It’s really important that we start healthy behavior habits with the students now so they can grow into it.”

Food Is Elementary is a national program developed by Dr. Antonia Demas of the Food Studies Institute. And now Marietta students are gaining knowledge we hope will be valuable later in life. Lessons include teaching about a healthy, balanced diet in line with guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Aside from nutrition is the basic battle against hunger. Often the issue isn’t having enough to eat, but is all about having the right food to eat to foster a growing body. It’s a real issue in the state. An Ohio Food Banks study says 730,000 Buckeye State children struggle with food insecurity. So, our children can really benefit from the knowledge that a soft drink loaded with sugar isn’t as healthy a choice as a glass of water.

A crew of 10 Marietta College students have been enlisted to serve as food educators. We hope they continue to serve and the program can be expanded to the rest of the schools in Washington County and even into neighboring Wood County.

Food Is Elementary seems like such a good idea, it’s amazing to think we didn’t have something like it a long time ago. With adult obesity such a growing problem in America today, we think many of today’s young and older adults could have benefited from early nutrition lessons.