Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

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Loyola School of Nursing to Host Healthy Eating Event for Families

When families eat three or more meals together each week, they consume more fruits and vegetables and less fried foods, soda pop and saturated and trans fats, according to a recent study from Harvard Medical School.

With this in mind, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing dietetic interns and Stritch School of Medicine students will host Family Champions, an event for families active at Maywood Fine Arts (MFA) to learn about the importance of healthy eating. This event will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, 2013, at Proviso East High School located at 807 S. First Avenue in Maywood. It will feature cooking demonstrations, nutrition lessons and education on the importance of family meals.

“Children and adolescents who share regular family meals are more likely to be in a normal weight range and to have healthier eating patterns,” said Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, assistant professor, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “This event will stress the importance of family meal time and its positive affect on health.”

Loyola University Chicago dietetic interns Sara Casey, Erin Gorman, Christina Jablonski and Jillian Tuchman will lead the event. Casey recently earned one of 25 Kids Eat Right mini-grants from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation to promote the benefits of family meals to the MFA community.

Kids Eat Right is designed to ensure that sound nutrition recommendations are part of obesity prevention. Casey will work with Gorman, Jablonski and Tuchman to develop the program through the MFA Grand Family Challenge, where families work on nutrition and physical activity goals with the help of an interprofessional team of Loyola students. The family who makes the most progress will have the opportunity to win one thousand dollars.

“Partnering with the Maywood Fine Arts Center will allow us to reach families interested in health and fitness,” Casey said. “Educating entire families also will have a greater influence on the health of children in this underserved area.”