Macomb County keeping people healthy 2017-18

When you support MSU Extension, you help participants learn safe food handling practices, increase their physical activity and improve the quality of their diets.

When you support MSU Extension, you help participants learn safe food handling practices, increase their physical activity and improve the quality of their diets. Extension programming also helps decrease incidents of violence and bullying. Encouraging these healthy behaviors helps reduce food and health care costs by helping prevent chronic health conditions and providing safe environments throughout a person’s life span.

Policy, System and Environmental Interventions- Smarter Lunchroom Movement

In 2016, MSU Extension’s Nutrition and Physical Activity (NPA) work team launched Policy, System and Environmental (PSE) Interventions. During 2017 this team was able to expand on prior work from 2016. PSE uses comprehensive interventions that address multiple levels of the socioeconomic model (SEM) to reach the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) target population in ways that are relevant and motivational to them, while addressing constraining environmental and/or social factors. The approaches complement the direct education. The organization that receives the consultation and technical assistance is ultimately responsible for adopting, maintaining, and enforcing the PSE change.

Capitalizing on MSU Extension’s network of school partnerships in Macomb County, during the 2016-2017 school year, twenty-area school lunchrooms participated in the Smarter Lunchroom Program funded through a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Team Nutrition Training grant coordinated by the Michigan Department of Education. The Macomb Intermediate School District Food Service Consultant, Carolyn Thomas, was a valuable resource to the MSU Extension-trained Smarter Lunchroom coach to launch the Smarter Lunchroom Program in Warren Consolidated Schools, Armada Area Schools, Richmond Community Schools, Roseville Community Schools and the Academy of Warren.

The MSU Extension Smarter Lunchroom coach worked directly with the school food service directors and kitchen staff to complete the lunchroom pre-and-post assessments designed to increase Smarter Lunchroom scorecard results and increase the selection and consumption of fruits and vegetables offered through the National School Lunch Program. Based on proven low-cost or no -cost Smarter Lunchroom strategies each food service director implemented improvements to nudge students to eat healthier during their school lunch.

Roseville Plate Waste Study

In January 2017, a partnership with Michigan Team Nutrition, MSU Extension, Roseville Public Schools and Michigan State University Food Science and Human Nutrition Department provided the structure for a plate waste study to evaluate any changes in the selection and consumption of fruits and vegetables through the school nutrition program.

Six Roseville elementary schools participated; three schools were intervention schools and three were control schools. Study results identified the following challenge areas: collecting and sorting food waste during multiple fast-paced lunchroom periods, needing motivated kitchen staff to implement all fruit and vegetable strategies to more accurately assess level of change, and needing systems to alleviate extra data collection burden to food service staff. Overall adding fruit and vegetable options, adding creative signage, improving the lunchroom atmosphere and training lunchroom staff to encourage positive lunchtime behaviors are beneficial strategies to improving a student’s lunchroom experience

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