The Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND), a Miami University student run organization dedicated to educating the Oxford community about nutrition, has big plans for National Nutrition Month (NNM) this March. Rachel Ahler, who was in charge of special events for this month, and Katie Mark, president of SAND, have been planning since the end of winter break.
SAND members will be handing out “Power Balls” from noon to 1:30 p.m. March 7 and black bean brownies from 1 p.m. to 2:30p.m. March 19 by the seal in the new Armstrong Student Center.
SAND hopes to encourage healthier snack choices by providing the students with healthy samples and recipes, and talking to them about nutrition. Snacks like the Power Ball, a snack that Mark explains is made of oats, flax seed, chocolate chips, cranberries and peanut butter, are a tasty and healthy alternative to a half-empty bag of potato chips.
If you do have to work off those potato chips, SAND is hosting a Group Fitness Yoga/Pilates class open to all students from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Saturday, March 15 in the PHI Dance Room. The event is B.Y.O.Yoga mat if possible.
Directly following the Yoga/Pilates class, and just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, they will be hosting a Go Green Brunch for SAND members from 10 a.m. to noon in PHI 102. This event will serve green eggs, a healthy green smoothie, and green pancakes.
Marks said the event is “focused on eating healthy especially with respect to NNM and spring break coming up.”
The brunch will also allow younger members of SAND to meet their upperclassmen mentors. Sign-ups for both events can be found on the SAND website.
Also new to their website for National Nutrition Month, SAND has created a discussion board for nutrition facts and favorite recipes. Students can go there for food ideas and suggestions.
If you would rather stick to the dining halls, don’t forget to check your table for some SAND paper. These short, student written and designed pamphlets offer suggestions for how to make nutritious food choices a la carte.
According to Mark, this is something the Culinary Support Center is working on. They have asked SAND to come up with nutrition facts to display on the screens in dining halls, to help students make more informed food choices.
SAND members have frequent opportunities to volunteer. According to Marks, this month will begin with the Food Drive the organization is hosting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 8 at Kroger to benefit the Oxford Community Food Pantry.
She said they will also be hosting a Sports Nutrition Workshop for the Field Hockey team, and visiting Talawanda Middle School to host a Family Nutrition Night, where they hope to encourage healthy snacking.
Out of all of their upcoming events, Mark is most excited to pass out Power Balls and to see get students involved with the Group Fitness class and Go Green Brunch.
When asked about the importance of celebrating National Nutrition Month on campus, Mark explained,
“In college people are really busy, and don’t have time to cook nutritious meals.”
Mark acknowledged that when students are in a hurry and have to pick up food, the healthy choice isn’t always the most convenient one, and sometimes it can be hard to know which choice is the healthy one.
“Markets and dining halls have a lot of unhealthy foods, so it’s important to raise awareness about eating nutritiously,” Mark said.
Mark touched on the high obesity rates in Americans as one of the reasons that celebrating National Nutrition Month on campus is essential. Learning to eat well now will help us continue to do so in the future.
“In college, that’s when habits start forming,” she concluded.
Written by: Samantha Silber
Photo License: Creative Commons