An exciting new model for Registered Dietitian (RD) involvement in schools has been underway since 2007. The Healthy Schools Partnership (HSP) is a collaboration of the ADA Foundation, the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition, and PE4life. In this innovative program, specially trained RD Coaches deliver nutrition education to students in groups and one-on-one in the classroom, PE class, and the cafeteria. Students in eleven Kansas City schools and four schools in the Greater Des Moines (Iowa) area have benefitted from the program that focuses on Energy Balance by improving eating and physical activity knowledge and behaviors. Reaching over 2,000 students during the 2009-10 school year, the HSP is showing impressive results in nutrition knowledge and school meals choices.
For example, RD Coaches are making a big difference in Parkview Middle School in Ankeny, Iowa. The RDs teach energy balance lessons in a variety of ways, including in the cafeteria. Every week students who select and consume a fruit and vegetable at lunch get their picture taken, posted on the Power Pick banner, and enter into a weekly prize drawing. The results have really rocked: big increases in a la carte produce sales (ex. doubling of salad bowl sales), as well as substantially more produce chosen in the reimbursable lunch line.