Just in case you are wondering if one person really can make a difference in the health of American families, let me introduce you to Jenny Steinhaus, MS, LN, and to Preston Maring, MD.
Jenny, who is president of the North Dakota Nutrition Council and a veteran Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program educator, developed Music & Movement: Nutrition in Action, an eight-session nutrition education curriculum for children age 4 to 8 that incorporates music and physical activity. Jenny believes that, at least for right now, hers is the only nutrition education program for youngsters that uses music as an integral component.
Each 30-to-90-minute lesson includes a story, physical activity, music and a seated activity. Jenny also developed snack suggestions, additional learning activities and a parent handout with recipes to accompany each lesson.
Because OB/GYN physician and surgeon Preston Maring believes a good diet is the most important aspect of preventive medicine, he created Kaiser Permanente's Friday Fresh Farmers Market at the Oakland Medical Center. Dr. Maring says eating from a farmers market is a excellent idea not only because it's good for you, but also because it's good for the environment and for the family budget. Dr. Maring's idea has spread to more than 30 Kaiser facilities in six states.
He is also working to create a distribution system that delivers produce for patient meals from small family farmers and to bring fresh, local, sustainably farmed fruits and vegetables to cafeterias at Kaiser Permanente and other workplaces in the region.
Both Jenny Steinhaus and Preston Maring took an idea and made it happen. They used their knowledge, training, creativity and, most of all, their passion, to make a difference above and beyond the demands of their normal professional responsibilities. This is how change happens. If you have an idea you would like to share, please let me know. I am looking forward to showcasing other nutrition innovators here.