CHECK (Creating Healthy Eating Choices for Kids) will implement a health promotion program which focuses on healthy nutrition for school-age children and their parents from a rural community in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) of South Texas. The project will be a collaborative effort of The University of Texas-Pan American’s (UTPA) Border Health Office (BHO), Nursing Department and Dietetics Program, all of which are based in the College of Health Sciences and Human Services (CHSHS).
The objectives of CHECK are to:
· Implement a culturally-competent approach to nutrition education in an under-resourced rural community.
· Provide graduate nursing students in an Advanced Rural Health Nursing Course with an opportunity to engage in a nutritional outreach program for a rural community.
· Empower children to make healthy lifestyle choices, including healthy cooking and food demonstrations.
· Foster an environment that supports healthy choices which leads to reducing childhood obesity.
· Introduce community gardening strategies to connect students to the source of their food.
The CHECK project will engage graduate nursing students from The University of Texas-Pan American in facilitation of USDA’s “Serving Up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum” with 250 predominantly low-income, Hispanic third and fourth grade students from rural Lyford Elementary School, located in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. An above-ground fruit and vegetable garden to be planted to help extend the students’ connection to the sources of their food and further empower them to incorporate healthy food choices into their lifestyles. CHECK has the potential for wide dissemination throughout the Rio Grande Valley due to existing relationships with an extensive network of school districts on the part of the UTPA Border Health Office, which will oversee and manage implementation of the project.