Posts Tagged With: SDA

Student Organization Websites

Student groups on campus advertise their club or organization through a variety of different ways.  In the last five years or so, Facebook groups for club or intramural sports teams, dorm floors, class sections, or student organizations have become popular way to provide information to their members, as well as recruit new members.  Organizations also use email to send out information about upcoming meetings and events.  Currently, the Student Dietetic Association (SDA) at WVU has a website through the university. The problem with using university websites to create your own webpage for your organization, is that it takes a long time for the information to get updated. Students don’t have access to enter all the information themselves. As you can see by looking around on the old SDA website, it hasn’t been updated with contact information, events, and photos for 3 years now.

So, many successful organizations resort to using outside website providers for making websites for their organization.  Blogspot can be used, like WVU’s Fashion Business Association has done.  West Virginia University’s Flute Club, among many other clubs, use Google sites.  And Alpha Phi Alpha uses the web-making site Wix.

I put together a rough website for SDA to use, through Wix.  The site,, has room for:

  • Mission statement & goals
  • Recent news (upcoming events, meeting minutes, etc)
  • Meeting schedule
  • Photo gallery of photos taken at SDA events
  • Links to other sites that are helpful for those thinking about a career in Dietetics
  • Advisor contact information

Additional things that could be included in the website are:

  • Weekly/Monthly “student spotlights” to get to know other SDA members
  • Executive board contact information (President, VP, Treasurer, Secretary, Social Media Chair, Student Council Liaison, Service Learning Chair, & Social Chair)
  • Information on how to become a member of the SDA (requirements, dues, etc)

Hopefully, the current/future SDA will be able to get this website updated with current information and will utilize it. A club that has an informative and up-to-date website looks a lot more professional and organized than a club that hasn’t updated their website in several years.  It’s important to know that this website isn’t just for students that are in the organization– there could be high school seniors looking at potentially attending WVU and joining the SDA.  If they see that the SDA is an active, fun organization to be involved in, it will place WVU in a good light and perhaps the student will choose to attend WVU over another university which has out-of-date websites.

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Designing Lesson Plans: 101

Most of today was spent creating, brainstorming, and designing lesson plans and nutrition-based programs that will benefit the community.  One lesson I gave elementary students when I was an undergrad was an interactive activity that taught the kids about the food groups on the MyPyramid (now MyPlate). What I did, along with a few other nutrition students, is gather the 15 or so kids in a gym and we went around the group talking about the different food groups- servings they should have per day, examples of different foods in each group, and why each food group was important. After the lesson, we broke the kids into teams, and had them play a game we had organized. Examples of foods were typed onto slips of paper (ie: Goldfish crackers, Parnsnips, Pineapple, Eggs), and these papers were placed in balloons that we blew up and placed in the middle of the gym. On “go,” the children got to run to the middle, pop the balloons, take out the slip of paper, and run to the correct food group labeled paper bag on the perimeter of the gym. After the chaos and excitement, we went through each paper bag with the kids, explained the foods they put into the wrong food group, and congratulated them on all the foods they got correct. It was a fun way to teach about the food groups, as well as incorporate physical activity into the lesson.

The SDA toolkit/binder should have a dozen or more lesson plan templates included in it.  This way, when the SDA has the opportunity to speak to children, college students, or adults about a nutrition topic, they can look in the binder for an appropriate lesson plan that they can implement successfully. Lesson plans I worked on include one for younger children on how to dehydrate fruit. Kids will have the opportunity to taste different fruits they may have not ever tried before, and they will learn different ways to eat fruits rather than just fresh. A child may hate bananas, but maybe they find they really like dried banana chips! Children can also take home an instruction sheet to their parents that explains how to dehydrate fruit.  Ideally, dried fruit could eventually replace other unhealthy snacks in the home.  Another lesson plan I included was a lesson on how to make healthy snack choices for upper elementary/middle school students.  I used the acronym SNACKS which stands for Smaller portions, Not in front of the TV, Am I really hungry?, Choose low-fat foods from the MyPlate for snacks, Kitchen is a good place to eat, and Sit down, slow down, savor, and enjoy.  Other lesson plan ideas could include teaching college students about the calories in alcoholic drinks, and teaching adults the difference between all the different fats (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated, and trans fat).

Sometimes in order to give a lesson or a brief demonstation at a booth, for example, it is helpful to have interesting visual aids, props, or games to help get the message across more effectively.   What I did, briefly, this morning was browse and create a wishlist of educational items that I would like to see WVU purchase.  The current budget can support the purchase of some of these items, however it is necessary to write grants in order to get enough money to buy most or all of them.  I think that a lot of these items would be great for a booth at the Student Health Fair and Employee Wellness Fair, as well as helpful to have at other SDA service learning events.  I wrote my own comments. What do you think? Any favorites?

MyPlate Chart

A versitile chart for children through adults


SpinSmart Nutrition Game

Fun nutrition trivia game for a booth at a wellness fair


Blubber Busters

Dessert-shaped fat blobs…designed for that shock factor– what are you really eating?


Sugar Facts Test Tubes

Find out the amount of sugar you’re consuming


Fat Facts: Saturated And Unsaturated Test Tubes

The amount of different types of fats in certain foods is shown


Reading Food Labels Is a Healthy Habit Chart

How to read a nutrition label


Body Fat Analyzer

Just enter your data (weight, height, gender, age) and find out your BMI and body fat %


Globs of Fat and Masses of Muscle Set (1 lb and 5 lb)

What do 1# and 5# of muscle and fat look like?


Fitness Dice

A fun fitness activity for kids…roll the die & you may have to do 4 toe touches and 8 jumping jacks!


Heavy Drinking: How Alcohol’s Calories Add Up Display

The sugar and alcohol calorie content of alcoholic beverages. Make smarter drinking choices!


Death of a Liver Easel Display

The consequences of alcohol and an unhealthy lifestyle


Deluxe Occluded Artery Model

What your arteries look like– healthy vs. unhealthy


Solar-Operated BMI Calculator

Type in your weight & height and the calculator does the math for you


Categories: Community Nutrition, Education in the Community | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Opportunities for the SDA

The SDA, which stands for Student Dietetic Association, is an undergraduate organization designed to provide opportunies for undergradutes to learn more about the dietetic profession, expand their resume, enhance their skills, and meet people with similar interests.  SDAs likely exist at nearly every university with a Dietetics degree. Today I worked further on creating a toolkit, if you will, for the running of a successful SDA. It includes descriptions of executive roles in the club, ideas for fundraising opportunities, potential guest speakers’ contact information, and step by step information for setting up and participating in volunteer and service learning activities.

A large part of my undergraduate SDA-equivalent was spent volunteering in the community.  I knocked on doors asking for non-perishable foods for a local food bank through “Knocking Out Hunger”.  I also participated in “Kids Against Hunger” which is an organization that provides nutrient-dense packets of food to be sent to malnourished kids in the US and overseas.  One of my favorite activities was working with a local girl scout troup one Saturday afternoon, helping them earn some of their badges.  In order to earn their cooking badge, we showed them how to brown ground beef for sloppy joes, use a knife properly to cut up vegetables, as well as how to make brownies. The girls enjoyed the hands-on activity and I enjoyed teaching new skills to the girl scouts, as well as building my resume.

An idea I would like to see followed through with is a “$5.00 Dinner Challenge” (or even $3.00 Dinner Challenge”!) This event could take place at the Mountainlair or in the Ag Science Annex kitchen.  The SDA would advertise a dinner competition that anyone can enter. What the participants need to do is register beforehand, and create a dinner dish (serving approximately 6-12 people), and send the recipe to the SDA in advance. The SDA would be in charge of creating a nutrition facts label for each dish, to be distributed at the event.  Each participant would be given a template to fill out that lists each ingredient, the cost of the ingredients used, total cost of dish, and cost per serving.

The day of the event, each participant would have the opportunity to explain their dish, and judges would fill out score sheets for each dish based on nutrition, taste, cost, appearance, oral presentation, and creativity.  The winners (judge’s winners & people’s choice) would receive prizes that the SDA could get donated by businesses in the community. Participants and those in attendance would also have the opportunity to sample the different dishes and pick up the recipe, cost, and nutrition fact sheets.

The goal of this event would be to encourage participants to explore inexpensive, healthy options for home-cooked meals. College students often struggle with eating healthy on a budget, with many resorting to less than healthy fast food options. When students are shown exactly how little a healthy meal can cost, are able to taste-test the dish, and can pick up recipe and nutrition fact sheets for the recipes they enjoy, they will be more likely to cook healthy meals at home without the excuse “eating healthy is expensive!”

Hopefully when this toolkit is complete, it will give the SDA the confidence to be an active, successful, and popular organization that produces top-notch Dietetics seniors that have the ability to get accepted into any Dietetic Internship they aspire to attend.  Simultaneously, the community in Morgantown and at WVU will benefit from the education and service projects that the SDA provides.

Categories: Community Nutrition, Education in the Community | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 1 & 2

Community nutrition rotations started on Monday and I was given a bit of an introduction to all the projects and possibilities for these next several weeks.

We spent some time talking about goals objectives for the SDA- Student Dietetic Association. The main goal is to put together a 3-ring binder that the SDA can use each year in order to function at 100%. It can include such things as descriptions of different executive positions within the SDA, fundraising ideas and details, as well as service learning/volunteering opportunities within the community.  This binder can provide ideas for SDAs at other universities in the US.  Not only will the community benefit from the service learning activities that SDA puts on, but the individual SDA members will benefit by putting their skills to use and building their resume at the same time.

There is also an opportunity to work at The Shack, which is a neighborhood house/youth center that serves children in kindergarden through 8th grade, as well as provides educational opportunities for parents and families.  Icould give a cooking demonstration to the kids…something simple and healthy that the kids can learn to make themselves.  When the kids get excited about a healthy recipe, their parents will be more likely to make it for their family.  I could also teach the kids to make bread dough, which they can take home to their families (again, encouraging their parents to cook homemade meals).  Bread is cheap to make (flour, oil, water, yeast, sugar) and can even be frozen and then donated to different food banks as a non-perishable food.  Food banks already receive lots of canned goods, so something like healthy frozen bread dough with attached recipes, can be a welcomed change.

There are also farmer’s markets in Morgantown which I could work at. An idea would be to create recipe cards for dishes that include produce and other food items you can purchase at the farmer’s market, and have a cooking demonstration of that meal, hand out samples, and give the recipe cards to those at the farmer’s market. Many people know they are supposed to eat fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet, but they are unsure as how to prepare them in a fun and appetizing way. The cooking demonstration and recipe cards could teach new cooking skills and give people a new idea of how to prepare fresh produce.

I also took the time to think about what I would like my online social media image to be.  As nutritional professionals, we have the opportunity to reach a larger audience through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Pinterest, and more. This could be as simple as sharing links to health news articles online, writing health and nutrition articles, or blogging about healthy recipes.  Linking these all together (sharing your blog web address on your facebook page, for example) and including them in your email signature will help your professional online presence to grow. And with that growth can come new opportunities in your career.

After the work day I attended a meeting at the Mon County Extension office from 4:30-6:30pm.  There were different members of the community in attendance, including concerned parents, a personal trainer, Registered Dietitians, WIC employees, Extension employees, and nutrition/fitness professionals.  Choose to Change wants to create a healthy environment in Morgantown which makes it easier to make fitness, nutrition, and health an integral, regular part of everyone’s day.  In order to create this healthy community, certain objectives must be set and made by a certain date. These objectives include food and beverage objectives, nutrition objectives, and fitness objectives in the community, schools, and businesses. Possible goals could include installing water fountains at community parks, replacing sugar-sweetened beverages and junk food in vending machines with healthy alternatives, and creating service learning opportunities for those in higher education. Lots of brainstorming went on during this meeting and will continue on until the next meeting in September.

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