Healthy Head Start is the product of a core group of motivated Vanderbilt students seeking to make a difference in the Nashville community. Given the rise and prevalence of obesity in America’s children, we decided to face this problem directly with an educational program intent on changing the way our youth think about food, nutrition, exercise and active lifestyles. The victims of malnutrition and childhood obesity fall disproportionately in the lower socioeconomic demographics, and thus we are working with under-served, underprivileged parts of Nashville to create as much positive change as possible.
Using fun and entertaining activities, our goal is to educate the children of Nashville about the basics of nutrition and exercise. We expose these students to a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and alternative snack options they might not have chosen previously due to their perceived stigmas of these foods associated with “Yuckiness.” We want to educate young students to give them the ability to make the conscious effort to choose the healthier choice whenever they have the option. In many cases, this healthier choice may be more costly, so we are working with local supermarkets and grocery stores to help in this area as well.
We are sponsored by Jamie Pope, a registered dietician at Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing. In addition, we are affiliated with Live It, Mana/Food Securities, and the Nashville’s Farmers Market.