Students at Pownal Elementary School and Durham Community School recently had the opportunity to discuss food and nutrition with Erin Dow, Regional School Unit 5 nutrition director. Dow shared information on the essential components of creating a balanced meal in an effort to educate students on how nutrition affects health and well-being.

Dow said her goal is to “work with our district’s staff and kids to enhance our offerings and broaden the scope of the nutrition program’s reach, both within and outside the walls of the cafeteria.”

Supporting a healthful lifestyle for students requires a comprehensive approach that involves not only the students themselves but staff and parents as well, according to a press release sent out by  Becky Foley, superintendent of schools for RSU 5. The RSU 5 Wellness Committee will distribute a survey to staff, parents and students, asking for their input about the district’s nutrition program and how best to support students’ health and well-being.

Foley noted in the press release that nutrition plays a role in cognitive abilities, stating that “good nutrition equates to healthier students who show up at school prepared to learn and (are) less likely to miss school” and that “schools can support children by adopting policies and practices that help young people eat more fruits and vegetables, increase physical activity and maintain a healthy weight.”