The mission of the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention (NEOP) in Santa Ana Unified School District is to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables and promote increased physical activity in children and adults throughout elementary schools and our community.
In recent years, several studies have indicated that California is facing a health crisis, and the NEOP is helping lead our students, parents and staff toward better lifestyles.
Nutrition education in the classroom is part of the solution.
In the classroom, the planning, preparation and enjoyment of food is easily turned into an educational experience that can be woven into many curricular areas.
In our program, elementary students learn that a healthy lifestyle – such as eating more fruits and vegetables – is easier than they think and offers many health benefits, including helping fight obesity. By taking just a few simple steps to improve their dietary practices and increase physical activity, they also can help combat serious health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
Studies also show increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables helps kids improve their academic performance and classroom behavior.
Using innovative, hands-on learning techniques, the NEOP encourages children to experience the many benefits of eating more servings of fruits and vegetables and participating in 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
And, we’re encouraging students to take these healthy messages home to their parents as a means of motivating entire families to work toward achieving healthier and more active lifestyles.