I am a pharmacy student giving a presentation to children about health science careers. What focus of dietetics would you suggest?

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I am a 1st-year pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and as part of a project, I’m giving a presentation to children in grades 4 to 9 in an underserved community about why they should pursue a career in the health sciences. For this particular presentation, we are focusing on four careers: pharmacy, dietetics, dentistry and veterinary medicine.

I have the basic information about a career in dietetics as well as some general information about eating healthy, but I’m stuck on ideas about how to present the information in a fun and interactive way. Do you have any ideas on possible “hands-on” activities?

Is there any aspect of dietetics or eating healthy eating in particular that you would suggest I focus on? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

You can put measured teaspoons (1, 2, 3, 4, etc) of salt, sugar or fat (melt shortening or margarine then pour) in test tubes, seal with cork or tape, label the tubes with the ingredient, how many teaspoons are in each tube and put the fat tubes in a glass to cool upright. Then ask the kids to match the test tubes with foods that have that amount of salt, fat or sugar. For instance, 12 ounce can of soda averages 10 teaspoons of sugar (grams of sugar 39 for Coke, 41 for Pepsi) or a medium order of fries has 4 teaspoons of fat (19 grams) and for every packet of salt you add 1/4 teaspoon of salt (581 milligrams.). Be careful not to suggest fat-free as kids need healthy fats to grow their brains and develop a healthy body.

Check the Kid Corner articles and video at Dole Five A Day as it is very kid orientated. The latest emphasis is to increase fruits, vegetables and whole grains in American’s eating habits.

Contact the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics about dietitian careers and classroom guide. They have some suggestions for classroom nutrition activities. March is National Nutrition Month and the Academy should be geared up with ideas.