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Beth Israel Deaconess-Milton working with schools to increase nutrition awareness

Posted by Natalie Feulner  April 10, 2012 10:00 AM

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NEWS RELEASE

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton (BID-Milton), formerly Milton Hospital, which provides community-based health care, announced that it has partnered with Milton Public Schools to teach third-graders how a balanced diet and exercise can lead to good health and academic success.

The program, which kicked off in February, included BID-Milton nutrition experts Jill Gordon, RD and Mercy Devadoss, RD, Lead Clinical Dietitian, who partnered with the Milton school’s Director of Food Services Jackie Morgan. College interns Jamie Regan, Kristen Merlo and Margaret Steven, currently enrolled in nutrition programs, also played a key role in developing visual displays.

“It’s critical that we take an active part in educating the community on nutrition, especially while children are still in this pivotal young age,” said Joseph V. Morrissey, President of Beth Israel Deaconess - Milton. “Our partnership with Milton schools helps fill a void in nutritional education by providing experts who can not only teach children but get them excited about taking care of their own health. The goal of this program is to help prevent diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension, which have unfortunately become so prevalent.”

Members of the Nutrition Services staff from the hospital and school system teamed up to create a four-part nutrition curriculum that was presented to all third-grade students in each of Milton’s four elementary schools. The one-hour program was presented during the school day within each of the 14 classrooms. Each classroom broke into small discussion groups and focused on the following topics: the alarming truth about the amount of sugar contained in many beverages, the food portion model, benefits of whole wheat as well as the importance of leading active lifestyles.

“As educators, we are keenly aware of the important link between sound nutrition and academic achievement,” said Mary Gormley, Superintendent,Milton Public Schools. “We are pleased to be working with a group of talented professionals from BID-Milton who have reinforced this connection for our students. The Nutrition Awareness program has been a resounding success.”

The group hopes to expand the program’s reach to fourth and fifth graders in the school years to come.

Natalie Feulner can be reached at natalie.feulner@gmail.com.

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