Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing


School of Nursing Intern to Teach Teens How to Snack

Students at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Ill. will soon have the opportunity to learn about the importance of healthy snacking during National Nutrition Month in March. Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing dietetic intern, Sara Casey, will reach more than 200 students on Monday, March 11, 2013, with classroom presentations on healthy snacks to help students feel and perform their best.

Casey recently earned one of 25 Kids Eat Right grants from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation for the presentations. Kids Eat Right is designed to ensure that sound nutrition recommendations are part of childhood obesity prevention. Casey will work with Kelly Sierra, RD, LDN, registered dietitian with Loyola University Chicago, to develop the presentations.

“Many students at Proviso East rely on snack foods throughout the day, because they often skip breakfast and lunch,” Sierra said. “Encouraging students to replace unhealthy snacks with fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and granola bars will help them get the nutrients they are missing.”

Casey and Sierra are involved with Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing’s school-based health center (SBHC) at Proviso East. Loyola dietetic interns, nursing, medical and social work students work side-by-side with faculty at the facility to develop skills that enhance community health.

The school-based health center was established more than a decade ago to give teens in this underserved area access to health care. Since its inception, thousands of students have received primary health care, school physicals, immunizations and social work, mental health, nutrition and laboratory services at the center.

“The school-based health center provides easy access to health care and education for students who might not otherwise receive treatment and preventive services,” said Diana Hackbarth, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and SBHC project director, Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “These resources have helped students thrive both inside and outside of the classroom.”