Foyil Elem nutrition poster contest 2016

Foyil 3rd Grade Students Win National Nutrition Month Poster Contest

Rogers County Health Department conducted a poster contest in recognition of National Nutrition Month as part of a special nutrition program with Foyil 3rd grade classes. Healthy incentives and certificates were awarded to all participants with special prizes for the top four posters provided by Rogers County Health Department and Healthy Community Partnership. The top four winners for posters representing the theme “Eat Right” are Bailey Cottom, Cruz Chairez-Castro, Dylan Shoestock, and Gracie Calderon. Community judges included Larry Bergner, Regional Director of Rogers County Health Department; Randy Atchley, Foyil Fire Chief; and Alyson Short, Director of the Healthy Living Program with Healthy Community Partnership.

Oklahoma has consistently been rated one of the unhealthiest states in America. The 2014 State of the State’s Health Report graded Rogers County an “F” in minimal fruit consumption and a “D” in minimal vegetable consumption. Poor nutrition and obesity contribute to health-related problems including heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Many families in Oklahoma live without access to fresh fruits and vegetables, resulting in poor health outcomes.

This is the third year of a successful partnership between Foyil Elementary School and the Rogers County Health Department to provide monthly nutrition education and taste-testing of fruits and vegetables. Since many dietary habits are formed at a young age, the health department is providing these young students with expert advice about how to have a healthy diet, with the hope it will influence their food preferences throughout life. Students are also learning about portion sizes, healthy recipes, and the many ways fruits and vegetables are available. The program will conclude in May when the health department holds a special celebration activity with the students. By teaming up with other community partners, it is possible the program could expand to other rural communities in the future.