The School of Health Studies is promoting healthier eating to University of Memphis students with new food options and projects on campus.
The UofM’s School of Health studies developed the Healthy Teaching Kitchen, a program designed to educate students on healthy food options. Mary Catherine Schalleri, professor at the School of Health Studies, discussed the program and its accessibility.
Schalleri said the Healthy Teaching Kitchen was started for two reasons, to provide healthier options to students and provide opportunities for nutrition students to practice what they have learned in the classroom.
“We apply it to food preparation techniques, as well as education,” Schalleri said. “We focus on a key nutrient and educate our students, faculty and staff, and visitors on how that nutrient can be beneficial to them.”
Along with the Healthy Teaching Kitchen, the School of Health Studies uses a student association called the Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND) to promote healthy choices. SAND is active in health fairs and other activities around campus as well as being heavily involved in National Nutrition Month in March. Schalleri went into detail on how SAND plays an avid role in promoting healthy options, through programs such as Rise Against Hunger.
“Rise Against Hunger promotes good nutrition for all,” Schalleri said. “In April, we raise money and sponsor a food packaging event, where people come and package rice-based meals that go to famine and disaster-stricken areas.”
Schalleri also said the School of Health Studies host seminars about nutrition awareness for student organizations on campus.
“We have different student organizations who contact us, wanting special seminars or topics, and we’ll go and do cooking demos,” Schalleri said. “We’ve done several where we talk about cooking on a budget, or as college students, eating healthy on a budget.”
UofM clinical nutrition student Lauren M. Fischer provided details on the services the Healthy Teaching Kitchen provides.
“The Healthy Teaching Kitchen provides nutritious food for an affordable price,” Fischer said. “We serve a smoothie and a main dish every Tuesday and Thursday.”
The School of Health Studies’ healthy choices projects have not gone unnoticed by UofM students. Sophomore Marissa Taylor said that she likes the idea of the Healthy Teaching Kitchen and the seminars that are being held about nutrition.
“I think that the Healthy Teaching Kitchen is great for students and faculty looking for healthier food options than the usual fast food and fattening stuff,” Taylor said. “If only the Healthy Teaching Kitchen was in a more known location like in the UC.”
Other students agreed with Taylor and they were more likely to go to the Healthy Teaching Kitchen if it was in a more exposed area. Some students, like freshman Byron Saunders, said he does not go to the fieldhouse, and therefore does not go to the Healthy Teaching Kitchen, but would be more inclined to if it was somewhere else on campus, like the University Center.
“I honestly have no classes there, so going to the fieldhouse is almost pointless to me,” Saunders said. “However, if the Teaching Kitchen was in an area like the UC atrium or in the shade outside of Rose Theater, I would definitely go there more often.”