“How do you know you’re hungry?” the instructor asked.
“When your stomach growls,” said Louisiana Elementary School first grader Nicholas Niffen.
That was just one of many answers the students of Miss Ashley Hagemeier’s first-grade class had for University of Missouri Extension Service Nutrition Program Associate Chelsea Dunn on Friday, Sept. 27.
The first graders were taking their first class with Dunn, who is called “Miss Food” by many of the LES students whenever she comes to teach nutrition.
The special nutrition class is funded by the federal government and funneled through the University of Missouri.
Dunn relays the message of healthy eating at schools, senior centers and day cares in northeastern Missouri counties.
“It’s a fun way for kids to learn about nutrition,” Dunn said. Students take five to seven weeks of Dunn’s weekly instruction to learn everything from how to properly wash their hands to the food groups.
“As the kids get older, we talk about nutrients and food safety,” she said.
First grader Joseph Wilson said “broccoli and I love carrots,” when asked examples of vegetables.
Classmate Maggie Johner was savvy enough to identify “nuts” and another way to get protein other than meat or fish.
“Do you see soda on here,” Dunn asked, while holding up her food groups poster.
“No,” the class said.
“Why?” Dunn asked.
“Because they are not healthy,” said class member Allysen Langley.
“Our body doesn’t really need them,” Dunn told the class. “But you can eat them sometimes.”
“You shouldn’t eat a lot of sweets because they’ll make your tummy hurt,” said class member Keira White.
This week, Dunn will start teaching the class about food groups in depth. They will discuss each one as the weeks progress.