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Energy Balance 4 Kids (EB4K) Gaining Momentum

As the fall semester draws to a close, more than 2,000 students from select Kansas City grade schools are immersed in a different kind of physical education — one combining physical activity with lessons on eating right. EB4K (formerly Healthy Schools Partnership), an exciting partnership between the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition Foundation and PE4life, places registered dietitians in schools as “RD Nutrition Coaches,” helping children change eating behaviors with short, one-on-one coaching sessions during physical education class. Now in its third year, the HSP has seen remarkable results in changing eating behaviors of students, both at school and at home.

What is RD Coaching?

An RD Coaching session is a one-on-one, interactive, mini-counseling session held during physical education class, designed to teach students how to make healthy and nutritious choices in their everyday diet. In addition to this counseling, the comprehensive curriculum includes classroom presentations, hands-on cooking activities, nutrition games, cafeteria promotions and tastings, nutrition posters, daily announcements, school newsletter articles and family fun nights.

RD Coach Training Academy

New in 2009, the first RD Nutrition Coach Training Academy was launched. The goal of the Training Academy is to fully equip all RD Coaches with the tools and knowledge needed to be the most effective RD Nutrition Coach as possible.  Topics included:

  •  EB4K Overview
  • Curriculum Sneak Peak
  • All About RD Coaching
  • Issues Schools Face
  • School Culture
  • PE4life Academy Tour
  • Play Time: Intro to Games
  • Training in Action
  • Inside Scoop: School Foodservice
  • Relationship between nutrition and academic success
  • Research Results
  • More Than RD Coaching (Reaching Families and School Staff)

The RD Coach Training Academy, although geared toward the EB4K project, is beneficial to any RD interested in using the RD Coach concept in schools.

Introducing the Foundation's National Education Director

Katie Brown, EdD, RD, LD, became the first Head RD Nutrition Coach in 2007 when the project was initially piloted. Katie now serves as the national nutrition education director for the RD Coach project. Under Katie’s direction, the RD Coach team of six has now expanded to 15 RDs.

What’s in Store

Early success of the program has led to the further expansion, which will soon bring RD coaches to Des Moines, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, covering more than 25 schools.

Furthermore, we are extremely grateful to the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition and the Healthy Weight Commitment for their pledge of $3.6 million over the next three years to the EB4K.

For more information about the EB4K project, please contact the Foundation's National Nutrition Education Director, Katie Brown at dr-nut-rd@sbcglobal.net.