Read on for more information about the impact the New Jersey Healthy Kids Initiative is having in the community.
- NJHKI Team Member, Peggy Policastro, PhD, quoted in US News & World Report
- NJHKI Partnership Addresses Physical Literacy of 8th Graders
- NJHKI Co-PI named to Journal of Nutrition Editorial Board
- NJHKI co-hosts Congressional Hearing on Hunger in NJ
- Kids Cook Monday Campaign Comes to Culture of Health Academy
- Catholic Charities of the Newark Archdiocese and NJHKI Partner on Nutrition for Homeless Mothers and Children
- NJHKI Hosts KidsFit Teacher Training Day
- Aeroponic Towers Become Part of CHA Curriculum
- Nestlé Collaborates With the Culture of Health Academy at the Rutgers New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health
- NJ health institute receives $3 million grant
- Rutgers Launches New Jersey Healthy Kids Initiative
- Message from the Director of the Rutgers Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health
NJHKI Team Member, Peggy Policastro, PhD, quoted in US News & World Report
Dr. Peggy Policastro, PhD, NJHKI Director of Culinary Literacy & Nutrition, was quoted in US News & World Report in an article about family meals. “By teaching kids to cook, they shop differently, fill their plates differently and consider the impact on their environment differently,” says Peggy Policastro, Director of the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health’s Student Ambassador Program at Rutgers University. Policastro emphasizes, “Watching cooking is not the same as cooking.” She points out that, “After watching the Super Bowl, you don’t become a better football player.”
NJHKI Partnership Addresses Physical Literacy of 8th Graders
In an effort to capture the unique qualities of athletic development and to maximize impact on the health of today’s youth, CHHP developed a multi-faceted pilot program, funded by a grant from the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and in cooperation with the New Jersey Healthy Kids Initiative. The eighth graders from GBCS attended weekly sessions at CHHP, in place of one of three days per week of their regular physical education class. Under the supervision of Michelle Arent, director of training and conditioning, athlete mentors assessed movement proficiency in three basic movements (squat, push up, hip hinge) and provided training and education on basic physical movement skills (run, jump, throw, catch). Students’ movement proficiency was evaluated at the beginning and end of the program, in addition to their completing a final program feedback questionnaire. To read the full article click here.
NJHKI Co-PI named to Journal of Nutrition Editorial Board
NJHKI Co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Daniel Hoffman, PhD, was named to the Journal of Nutrition editorial board. The Journal of Nutrition, the official publication of the American Society of Nutrition, is the premier journal in the nutrition field. The Journal publishes peer-reviewed original research papers covering all aspects of experimental nutrition in humans and other animal species; special articles such as reviews and biographies of prominent nutrition scientists; and issues, opinions, and commentaries on controversial issues in nutrition. The journal publishes original research reported by authors in over 50 countries and is distributed worldwide to more than 1000 institutions, in addition to personal subscribers and ASN members. Congratulations, Dr. Hoffman!
NJHKI co-hosts Congressional Hearing on Hunger in NJ
The New Jersey Healthy Kids Initiative (NJHKI) and Hunger Free New Jersey co-hosted a congressional conversation on hunger in New Jersey, May 29th, at the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, & Health on Rutgers University’s Cook campus. Many state and federal officials, emergency food providers and advocates gathered to discuss ways to reduce hunger and ensure all New Jersey residents have healthy food to eat.
The session was moderated by celebrity chef and anti-hunger activist Tom Colicchio. United States Representatives Frank Pallone and John Gottheimer as well as New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin joined the conversation.
“Hunger knows no stripes,’’ Coughlin said. “It just knows people. That’s the message that Congress needs to hear.’’
New Jersey Department of Human Services Commissioner, Carole Johnson, shared the most recent steps the department has taken to increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits to 27,000 New Jersey residents and boost SNAP participation among college students.
New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher outlined child nutrition programs like the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable, School Breakfast, and Summer Food Service programs as important tools in the fight against hunger.
Kim Guadagno, president & CEO, Fulfill, Carlos Rodriguez, president & CEO, Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Fred Wasiak, president & CEO, Food Bank of South Jersey all detailed the hunger they see every day in New Jersey and noted that without strong federal food aid programs, they would never be able to keep pace with the need.
Megan, a SNAP recipient, described the value of the SNAP assistance she received. “There is no way I could feed my children without SNAP and school meals,’’ she said. “We aren’t lazy or looking for an easy way out. We’re starting over from ground zero and just need some help to get back on our feet.’’
A special thank you to Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Science Dean Robert Goodman for his opening remarks, and to Adele Latourette and Ellen Teller from Hunger Free New Jersey and the Food Research & Action Center, respectively, for their partnership.
NJHKI & The Kids Cook Monday Campaign Collaboration
Learn more about how The Kids Cook Mondays Campaign and The New Jersey Healthy Kids Initiative are aligned in their missions to help make children healthier by exposing them to cooking at a younger age!
Catholic Charities of the Newark Archdiocese and NJHKI Partner on Nutrition for Homeless Mothers and Children
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark reached out to NJHKI in the fall of 2018 to help them develop an educational module on Nutrition and Eating for homeless mothers and children. The module, developed by NJHKI team member Peggy Policastro, PhD, with assistance from the Rutgers New Jersey Cooperative Extension, will address basic nutrition, preparing healthy foods without access to a kitchen, label reading, and supermarket shopping on a budget. It will be piloted at St. Rocco’s Family Shelter in Newark and will reach 60 women and 80 children per year. After piloting the module, it will be rolled out to neighboring Catholic Charity-sponsored homeless shelters throughout Newark and Jersey City.
NJHKI Hosts KidsFit Teacher Training Day
On Monday, February 18, 2019, The New Jersey Healthy Kids Initiative and RWJBarnabas Health co-hosted a KidsFit Teacher Training day at the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health (IFNH). Designed to support children’s healthy lifestyles, KidsFit is a 10-week long program that promotes healthy food choices and activities. With over 30 participants, ranging from K-12 educators to health professionals, instructors and dieticians, Kerri Likakis and Molly Fallon engaged participants in an overview of nutrition education and how to implement the curriculum into their organizations. Trainings are offered free of charge to participants and the curriculum is available for a donation on the KidsFit website.
Aeroponic Towers Become Part of CHA Curriculum
In November, 2018, the Culture of Health Academy (CHA) added two aeroponic towers. These towers will provide CHA students, and all students brought to the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health by NJHKI, the opportunity to grow, observe, prepare, and taste over 20 different vegetables, herbs, and fruits right inside the classroom. School garden programs have been shown to increase children’s vegetable intake, in addition to improving attitudes, willingness to try, knowledge, and culinary literacy skills. The towers have become part of the educational curriculum with books focused on plants, physical activity where they act out the life cycle of a seed with their bodies, counting plants, describing the colors of the plants, and tasting what is grown.