OUHSD Student Nutrition Advisory Council members join the CA School Nutrition Conference in Anaheim on Veteran’s Day

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Most people would sleep in if they were given the day off of work or school, but a group of about twenty high school students willingly took their holiday weekend off to attend the California School Nutrition Association Conference in Anaheim. Students from four different schools in our district- Pacifica, Hueneme, Rio Mesa, and Channel Islands- who care about the health of others and their own climbed onto a bus at 6:30 in the morning on their way to the Anaheim Convention Center. With a nearly three hour ride in store, we settled in as best we could, and we even made a pit stop in a Whole Foods for a bathroom break.

When we arrived at the Convention Center, we were greeted with t-shirts that had a 70’s theme as the convention itself had the theme. We put on our shirts and watched a presentation on the nutritional benefits of whole grain bread as opposed to those of multigrain or white bread. It turns out both white bread and multigrain lack all of the nutrients of a complete wheat grain.  Whole grain bread is the way to go!

After the presentation, we went to an outdoor area of the convention center for another activity. We were met by a physical education teacher who set us up to play games. She made it so the games were fun and distracting of the actual physical activity at hand.

After that we took a water break and waited to have our picture taken with all of the students attending the convention. There were students ranging from the fourth grade to seniors in high school who were all concerned with the physical well-being of those around them.

Once we finished the pictures, we were escorted into where the convention was being held by our coordinator. Inside there were rows and rows of booths all with food to serve. Right away we began to sample food from booths that had sponsored us. We were given red and green stickers to grade each booth we visited, green meaning we liked it and red meaning we disliked it. Booth after booth the different schools began to mix as we were brought together by food. Nearly thirty minutes of being in the convention and we were already beginning to feel full. A large amount of small samples add up. But we continued to walk and burn off what we had just consumed so we could get to every booth. Some had delicious food we couldn’t believe were served in schools while others were more believable and had that “cafeteria food” way about them.

Overall this experience influenced us by giving us ideas as to what we want for our school; everybody has different tastes when it comes to everything but especially food. Events like these help us know what we the students want so we can enjoy our meals and actually eat them. As a student, I would love to see an event like this occur in school so the students themselves can give their feedback of what they would like to see being served. These events are fun and helpful because they allow us to personally see and taste our options.

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