Come and Get It: Nutrition and Fitness for Lifelong Health

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    "Come and Get It" is a nutrition curriculum developed by the Body Mind Spirit Project (BMS) in Santa Cruz, California. This project is extremely unique in the fact that it caters to struggling students in alternate education programs (AEP) such as schools in juvenile detention facilities or continuation high schools. The BMS project is fairly new, started in 2004, and came into existence when it was noted that students in AEP programs were not meeting fitness standards at a higher rate than the average secondary school student. As a result, this project brought yoga and martial arts to this population in order to try to increase the activity levels observed. It decided on these specific activities because they are not team based and are focused more on the specific individual. A classroom based program soon followed that included a nutritional curriculum.

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The curriculum is a 20 lesson, 200 page, extensive program that focuses on providing students with the skills to make not only healthy diet choices but also to make changes to promote an active lifestyle. This program seeks to support the students overall 'well-being" rather than just a single specific aspect. It is divided into three main sections: nutrition and physical fitness, influences and decision making, and physical activity information and benefits. The curriculum, with all of the lessons, can be found here. Though this curriculum was piloted in four schools in the Santa Cruz County office for AEPs, it probably could be used by any high school that seeks to better the overall well-being of its students.

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         I personally think this is an awesome initiative because it targets a population that is often forgotten; I would never think to target the struggling and troubled youth in detention centers and high schools. The fact that the curriculum incorporates decision making into its lesson plan is extremely smart because often the students in this population are coming from troubled backgrounds where bad decision making may have influenced where they got to where they are at now. Hopefully, if they learn all about good decision making in general, not just nutrition wise, they can better themselves.

  

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4 Comments

What a great program! I really like how the “Come and Get It” program focuses not only on promoting healthy diet choices but also pushing the importance of an active lifestyle. I couldn’t agree more with the fact that the troubled youth in detention centers and high schools are an audience that is often overlooked. Creating a curriculum that focuses strictly on these young individuals is a great way to turn their lives around for the better! By incorporating decision making methods regarding nutrition into the lesson plan, it doesn’t only teach healthy eating habits but also helps these kids to “better themselves”! Overall, great article and find! I really appreciated reading about an audience that typically over looked. It makes me really think about other populations that desperately need help but are usually forgotten.

I liked that this program focused on helping struggling students in alternate education programs such as schools in juvenile detention facilities and continuation high schools. I think that it was a great idea introducing yoga and martial arts to this population in order to increase participant's activity level. I think that individual based activities allow students to focus on their own strengths and focuses. In addition, I like that the program was divided into three main sections: nutrition and physical fitness, influences and decision making, and physical activity information and benefits. This way the program is improving the students overall well-being rather than a single specific aspect. Often times students in this population come from troubled backgrounds and need a helping hand. I'm glad this program has been able to help a population that is often forgotten. Great article!

Chandler,
I know! Isn't it awesome that this program focuses on overall well-being? Many nutrition curriculum programs focus on improving the diet of the population but many times peoples diets are heavily influenced by all kinds of aspects in their lives. Im surprised more nutrition programs don't take this into consideration.

Samantha,
Im sure that there are so many other populations that are being overlooked as well. Many times the overlooked populations are the ones that need the help the most, as can be seen in this case. It's nice to see that atleast this program is doing its best to help this demographic.

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