Nutritional Education At The Northern Illinois Food Bank

Northern Illinois Food Bank  Image: solvehungertoday.org

Northern Illinois Food Bank
Image: solvehungertoday.org

Eric Baumbach of Willowbrook, Illinois is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in finance and accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Involved with several charitable organizations in his Willowbrook community and the Burr Ridge area, Eric Baumbach has done volunteer work for the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, helping to prepare donations for food assistance programs in the area.

The Northern Illinois Food Bank offers many programs to support the food and nutrition needs of the surrounding communities, including a complete nutrition education program geared for school-aged children between the ages of five and twelve years old. The program uses the USDA My Plate model as the basis for a curriculum that teaches kids about nutritious foods and healthy eating.

The nutrition education program offered through the food bank provides educators with a complete curriculum for each of the food groups in the USDA My Plate model (grains, proteins, dairy, fruits, and vegetables). Curriculums follow a four-lesson format, and each segment includes a video portion, leading the teacher through a sample class, a teacher guide, a suggested activity, a recipe, and a grocery list. For example, one lesson within the vegetable curriculum is called Dip Cups. Kids are introduced to several raw vegetables, learn about their nutritional benefits and how to safely prepare the veggies, and then get to work with classmates to prepare a healthful ranch dip.