The Muscatine Diabetes Project aims to educate youth on all types of diabetes and the power of healthy choices through food and exercise.
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Third graders at Jefferson Elementary School paired with members of the Muscatine Diabetes Project on Wednesday as part of the Diabetes Busters Program.
Developed by the University of Iowa School of Nursing, the American Diabetes Association of Iowa and the Iowa City School District — the program educates children on all types of diabetes.
“With third graders, they’re just an amazing age. We thought they were still wanting to learn, sometimes with behaviors. Once those do develop they’re hard to change,” said Diabetes Project President Kim Seligman. “So, when planting the seed with third graders we’re just giving them the knowledge that they have choices that they can make, and there’s going to be healthy choices and maybe not healthy choices.”
The program also teaches children about healthy lifestyles.
“A lot of people don’t understand what is on a food label,” Seligman said. “So that was important for the kids to know what fat, fiber, (and) protein is.”
For the next month, the student’s will wear and use a pedometer to help keep track of their steps, though the group did not set any goals for the students. Instead, the step tracking tools are used as a form of empowerment.
“They’re the ones that have to make those decisions. So to just, give them the the knowledge and the information so they can make the decisions,” Seligman said. “What if they choose something maybe unhealthy? You know, then they know they need to do some more activity with that.”