Protein Power: Empowering Students with Nutrition and Fitness Education

Spencer East Brookfield Public Schools is dedicated to promoting students’ health, well-being, and academic success by fostering healthy eating habits and physical activity. Their Wellness Policy supports these goals by ensuring food and beverage options contribute to lifelong healthy eating behaviors and enhance learning. Collaborating with UMASS Extension Nutrition Education Program, the district strives to create a wholesome educational environment.

Kevin Fletcher and fellow intern Samantha Runshaw posing with a poster created for the UMASS Nutrition program.

On April 3rd, 2023, Framingham State University graduate student and UMASS Extension intern Kevin Fletcher led an engaging and informative lesson for 3rd-grade students at Spencer East Brookfield Public Schools. The session focused on the importance of protein foods, the connection between protein and exercise, and safe storage practices for protein-rich foods. Students discovered the benefits of protein, how to differentiate between plant and animal protein sources, and the advantages of stretching and exercise.

As part of the interactive lesson, Kevin guided the 3rd-graders through stretching exercises and a mock swimming activity, demonstrating how proper exercise and nutrition can help maintain strong and healthy bodies. The students eagerly participated, gaining valuable knowledge about the role of protein in muscle growth and overall health.

The success of this protein-packed lesson not only reinforced the objectives of Spencer East Brookfield Regional School District’s Wellness Policy but also inspired students to make informed choices about their nutrition and physical activity. By fostering an environment that prioritizes health and wellness, the district is investing in the future of its students, equipping them with the tools and knowledge necessary for a lifetime of healthy habits.

For nutrition content and lesson plans, please visit the SWITCH resource center.

By: Kevin Fletcher, FSU Food and Nutrition Graduate Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics