Student pushes nutritious eating


Photo Credit: Julia Rooney

Physical Education students were encouraged to try a healthy salsa after attending a powerpoint presentation.

by Julia Rooney, Multimedia Manager

Fourteen percent of adolescents living in New Jersey, are considered overweight. Twenty one percent perform physical activities for the recommended hour everyday. 

Erica Jones, a junior, finds this simply unsatisfactory. Her idea of a good lunch is a colorful plate of food that will keep her energized throughout the school day. Her idea could not only apply to her, she must do something to change meals offered in the cafeteria.

In the summer of 2015, Jones acted on her plan. She registered for the Sustainable Jersey for schools organization. Through this group, she was granted four-thousand dollars for making a Wellness Team and starting the “Facing Family Food Challenges Together” presentations.

“My main goal for the grant is to change Glen Rock student’s diets and increase their awareness of what they are eating. Most people, especially kids, don’t think about their diets and the impact it will have on their future, and this is very important to change,” Jones said. “Students should recognize that healthy eating is an essential part to a full, happy, and healthy life.”

During the week of Monday, May 16, Jones teamed up with Holistic Health Coach and owner of Nature Girl Wellness, LLC, Erica Danziger to teach Glen Rock parents and students about the importance of a healthy diet.

“With this particular set of presentations, I feel so honored to be able to share food education that can seriously change the way Glen Rock families think about food,” Danziger said.

Julia Kelly (’16) attended one of the presentations during her physical education class.

“It made me want to eat healthy but then I went into the cafeteria and couldn’t resist getting a chocolate chip cookie,” Kelly said.

Most students would agree with Kelly. The thought of eating food that’s not only tasty but healthy is enticing.

According to John Lantieri, Food Service Director at the high school, the cafeteria offers these options.

“Everyday we strive to show different variety of healthy food,” he said. “We accommodate to vegans and look out for allergens, looking for variety and healthy options.”

The Family Food PowerPoint emphasized on the points that students should work on packing nutritious meals, rather than relying on the lunch services at school. Jones’ main goal was to show busy parents how quick and easy it is cook healthy meals and encourage their children do so too.

Physical Education teacher, Chris Fox sat in on several seminars throughout May 18.

“I thought it was very thorough and I feel that this generation of kids needs to hear about healthy eating and they covered all the aspects really well about the healthy eating lifestyle,” Fox said.

Not only did Danziger explain what foods families should be eating, she also talked about ways to prepare meals that will enrich students energy level and brain-building. Being a Glen Rock mom herself, Danziger knows exactly what it’s like to need to make breakfast and lunches early in the morning.

“Learning how to connect the food that Nature provides with what your individual body needs was the key message in these presentations,” Danziger said. “To be able to bring this information to Glen Rock parents is a culmination, for me, of my passion for nutrition and my dedication to the Glen Rock community.”