Husky Nutrition educates Connecticut residents who are in greatest need about nutrition, physical activities, and lifestyle choices that promote greater health. Working with UConn students, we facilitate Community Engagement Programs (Service Learning) that decrease disparities in food and nutrition-related conditions and diseases, food security, and food access. We do this by:
- Promoting positive behavior change in the food-related and physical activities of adults, families and children; and/or
- Impacting systems-level changes to improve access to healthy food and encourage opportunities to be physically active.
Students from many academic disciplines gain knowledge and experience to improve their skills. Utilizing strong community partnerships, students participate in programs that serve underserved, limited resource children, families and adults throughout Connecticut.
The Husky Nutrition (NUSC 3171) course emphasizes community service, with learning laboratory and site lesson plan development all focused on enhancing the applied, community experience. UConn students enrolled in this course increase their understanding of nutrition and health in underserved Connecticut communities, gain skills in conveying healthy nutrition messages to families, and solidify their cultural competence. At the community site, students interact with parents or caregivers and their children, engaging them and delivering brief, healthy nutrition messages when the parents and caregivers come to pick up their children.
- To understand the principles of healthy nutrition messaging and be able to convey these principles in the community;
- To positively impact community health and well-being by providing nutrition education to parents and caregivers of preschool children that results in reducing children’s consumption of sweetened beverages; and
- To listen to and learn from parents, caregivers, and children about their communities in order to understand what works to improve good nutrition and what challenges they face.
HUSKY NUTRITION SUMMER SCHOLARS
Every summer, Husky Nutrition offers a paid internship for undergraduate and graduate level students studying at UConn. Husky Scholars (interns) act as role models and mentors by developing lessons and sharing healthy eating and physical activity messages to participants in under served areas throughout Connecticut.
Husky Scholars participate in active community engagement by:
- Delivering and creating nutrition education lessons to participants across the lifespan through Husky Reads, the On-the-Go Healthy Beverage Series, and the Husky Smart Shopping programs.
- Assisting with research projects and with media projects associated with the SNAP4CT Online Nutrition Education platform.