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Bragg Health Institute Brings Nutrition Education to Goleta Schools

Students learn about organic farming and the importance of eating fruits and vegetables

The Bragg Health Institute, a Goleta-based nonprofit, is partnering with the Goleta Union School District in educating its students about the importance of good nutrition and eating organic produce.

The Bragg Health Institute and its health education team is providing this program to Goleta schools as part of its health mission outreach to the community, funded in part by an educational grant from Venoco Inc.

The focus of the nutrition education is to teach children about the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables and how organic farming plays an important role in environmentally friendly, healthy plant foods. The program also takes off on the theme of “bring a farmer to school” concept of educating school children of were healthy plant foods, such as fruits and vegetables come from.

Sergio Gluschankoff of Goleta’s newest organic farm, Synergy Organic Farm, located on the property of the Bragg Organic Farm at 183 Winchester Canyon Road, will lead the students in a discussion and educational presentation on growing organic vegetables and fruits. This will be followed by nutrition education by Bragg Health Institute nutritionists and health educators Patricia Bragg and John Westerdahl along with Goleta Union School District’s Sharon Baird, food service director and registered dietitian.

Currently, there is a national effort to educate school children of all ages about good nutrition due to a growing nation obesity epidemic. The Bragg Health Institute is dedicating its efforts to help in this effort in the Goleta and Santa Barbara school districts.

The education programs took place at Foothill Elementary School on May 10 and Ellwood School on May 17, and will go to El Camino School on Tuesday, May 18 and Brandon School on Monday, May 24.

— John Westerdahl is director of the Bragg Health Institute.

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