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EFNEP Helped Girls Varsity Sports Teams Eat Better

The Issue

Arroyo Valley High School in San Bernardino City Unified School District is a school with great needs. About 92% of students are eligible for free/reduced price meals. The girls varsity soccer coach at this school shared concerns that students on the team were coming to practice with unhealthy snacks like chips, candy, and other unhealthy foods. He also noticed that the students seemed tired and complained of headaches at practice and games. When asked what they usually ate for breakfast, many students said they did not eat breakfast and often skipped lunch as well. The girls commented that snacking on chips would help get them by.

What Has ANR Done?

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) in San Bernardino County started the 6-lesson series from Money Talks Hunger Attack curriculum with the girls varsity soccer team. EFNEP Educator Clara Wilshire taught lessons focusing on healthy food choices and MyPlate, eating breakfast and not skipping meals, reading ingredient and Nutrition Facts labels, checking for added sugars and solid fats, and knowing how to keep food safe. The girls had an opportunity to participate in the food demonstration at every lesson including making an energy snack with whole grain cereal, chewy granola bars with oatmeal, and stir fried brown rice. The students learned the importance of eating a variety of foods and how food is fuel for their body which will help them perform better as athletes. The success with the girls soccer team led Clara to repeat the nutrition series with the girls varsity golf team at the same school.

The Payoff

Athletes started to eat healthier snacks before games and practice

A total of 15 members of the girls soccer team and 10 members of the girls golf team participated in EFNEP Hunger Attack series. The students were very receptive to the information provided and had fun with EFNEP classes. They shared that they were beginning to eat healthier snacks before games and practices such as fruit, string cheese, and healthier granola bars. They also mentioned that they began to pay attention to food labels and had made some of the new recipes at home. The student pre and post surveys (23 matched sets) show all youth improved their abilities to choose foods according to Federal Dietary Recommendations or gain knowledge, 65% made improvement related to vegetable consumption, 43% made improvement related to sugary drinks, 41% made improvement related to making healthy choices, and 23% made improvement related to eating whole grains.


Supporting Unit: San Bernardino County

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
Clara Wilshire, EFNEP Educator, chwilshire@ucanr.edu
Christine Davidson, EFNEP Program Supervisor, cdavidson@ucanr.edu
Chutima Ganthavorn, NFCS Advisor, cganthavorn@ucanr.edu