Healthier Jupiter joined Jupiter Middle School Staff and Jupiter Middle School Culinary Students on a visit to Kai-Kai Farm. Even a few showers couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm shared by Kai-Kai Grower Diane. The Students were engaged and eager to learn all about growing their own healthy food.
The visit to Kai-Kai Farm was part of the School District of Palm Beach County Nutrition Division 2016/2017 Healthier Jupiter mini-grant in partnership with Jupiter Middle School. The Grant provided Jupiter middle school students with access to local Florida farms with the intention to expand awareness and increase understanding of the importance of nutrition education and healthy living. By initiating tours to local Florida farms, they plan to educate students in the areas of healthy eating by infusing nutrition education, encouraging students to grow food in school gardens to increase consumption of more fruits and vegetables. This pilot project will possibly help plan for a much larger district initiative involving field trips, school gardens, and farmer’s markets to promote healthy living practices in Palm Beach County.
Many children today do not realize where their food comes from and the processes it passes through before it lands on the shelves in our grocery stores. The intention of this project is to establish a strong foundation and desire for healthy eating and living practices by linking nutrition with agriculture. By bringing students back to the roots of growth & engaging them in the process of growing, informal studies have confirmed that people are more likely to make different choices, better choices and are more likely to try new fruits and veggies that they have grown. Pre and post surveys will be conducted with the students to assess two areas: behavioral changes for fruit & vegetable consumption and garden related interest & experience. A pre-test was conducted before any nutrition education takes place and while en-route to the farm to acquire benchmarks and starting points. Two post tests will occur – one to gauge anticipated behavior changes and the other after schools harvest day to gauge actual changes. Thank you to all involved for providing a Healthy start to our Middle Schoolers.
Healthier Jupiter is a community initiative funded by Palm Healthcare Foundation. Headquartered at Jupiter Medical Center, Healthier Jupiter works in partnership with the Medical Center to address health and quality of life issues, with an emphasis on diabetes. Healthier Jupiter selected diabetes as its focus because promoting healthy lifestyles can lower the risk of the illness and its complications, as well as reduce the risk of many other chronic diseases. This initiative has four steps: increasing awareness of diabetes risks and healthy lifestyles, helping individuals make healthier food choices, encouraging individuals to become more active, giving individual’s greater access to necessary medical care. www.healthierjupiter.org