The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Improving Lives, Communities and the Economy

Nutrition Videos for Kids, by Kids Promote Healthy Eating

Students using an iPad to create video.

Nutrition Videos for Kids, by Kids Promote Healthy Eating

  • Obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
  • The financial cost of childhood obesity tips the scales at $3 billion annually.
  • SNAP-Ed programs helping children make healthy choices are important in battling obesity.
    • SNAP-Ed provides direct faced-to-face education for people at higher risk for both hunger and obesity, two of the most costly health issues facing our country.
      • Los Amigos Elementary School received a grant in 2013 for the iCan! Making Healthy Choices Using iPad Technology project.
        • 25 fifth-grade students learned to make videos about nutrition that they shared with their school.

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The scene opens with 11-year-old Cuquito Del Cid racing across the playground with a schoolmate, gasping for breath.

“I’m just so tired,” he complains.

“You’re supposed to eat your veggies,” his friend reminds him, and the two launch into humorous theatrics in the award-winning video that they wrote, directed, produced and starred in.

The healthy eating video was one of eight made for children, by children, thanks to a partnership with University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension and the UA Nutrition Network, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education (SNAP-ED) program.

Cuquito was one of 25 fifth-grade students – called the Whiz Kids – who took part in the iCan! Making Healthy Choices Using iPad Technology project at Los Amigos Elementary School in Tucson.

“I loved it,” Cuquito said. “I learned a lot about nutrition. I learned it’s good to eat your vegetables. If you don’t, you can’t do a lot of exercise. You get tired quickly.”

The videos were shown to other students at Los Amigos, inspiring them to eat healthfully. Students voted, and Cuquito’s video took first place.

“We were the example, the role models,” he said. “If we are eating healthy, other kids will, too.”

The project was launched at the technology magnet school after it received funding that allowed for the purchase of an iPad, said Noah Mickey-Colman, an instructional technology coach at Sunnyside Unified School District who was instrumental in creating this project.

“The idea was to help kids learn about the food they eat and take that knowledge and turn it into an educational tool using a mobile device – the iPad,” Mickey-Colman said.

He believes the project changed students’ eating habits. “When I walked around the cafeteria I could see them making healthier choices.”

The program was funded through Arizona Department of Health Services as a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s SNAP-ED Obesity Prevention program.

Cooperative Extension partners with Los Amigos, providing funding for nutrition education, said Laurel Jacobs, associate in Extension at the UA Nutrition Network, a program of the UA Cooperative Extension and Nutritional Sciences Department.

Jacobs said the entertaining videos taught students to use iPad and iMovie technology while inspiring them to think about what they eat.

“Sometimes kids learn better from each other,” Jacobs said.

Short URL: http://uacals.org/p6

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