By Anja Rosales
Spring break may have already started for some Baylor students, but the Random Acts of Wellness week continues until Friday.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, March is National Nutrition Month and Baylor’s Fitness Department has taken action in the McLane Student Life Center.
Throughout this week, the Peer Nutrition Educators of the Baylor Fitness Department made snacks and handed them out to students in the SLC. The snacks were accompanied by little notes regarding the importance of a nutrition related topic.
The Peer Nutrition Educators consist of six student educators who help provide nutrition education, develop nutrition guidelines tailored to a person’s lifestyle, assess dietary goals of those who seek help and give dietary analysis to Baylor students, faculty and staff.
Clint Patterson, the coordinator for fitness at the SLC, said the Peer Nutrition Educators first discussed this idea among themselves in hopes of making it the first Random Act of Wellness week ever at Baylor.
“They are a sharp bunch of students who are always looking to elevate the impact they might have on Baylor’s students,” Patterson said.
Houston junior Erika Zoellner, the head of the Peer Nutrition Educators, is responsible for bringing the Random Act of Wellness week to the university.
“I heard of the idea from Dr. Robert Post, a former United States Department of Agriculture member of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, while he was presenting at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo back in October of 2013,” Zoellner said. “Afterwards, I found the information so valuable that I suggested the idea to the other Peer Nutrition Educators for National Nutrition Month.”
Zoellner said she hopes this week will help students to be more aware of their snacking habits and personal nutrition. However, she said she hopes that students also become aware of their resources located on campus.
“I hope that more students will find out about the Baylor Peer Nutrition Education program from the Random Acts of Wellness week,” Zoellner said. “Peer Nutrition Education is free nutrition education and counseling that is personalized to the needs and goals of the student. The program has so much to offer, but it is not always utilized by the students.”
The Peer Nutrition Educators and the Fitness Department has more planned for the month of March with events ranging from inforation booths to team challenges. Patterson said the program wants to provide unique programming, centered on the topic of nutrition during the month. He said it will be a fresh way to communicate information to students regarding nutrition.
Zoellner said she is extremely passionate about nutrition and hopes that the Random Acts of Wellness has helped students become more aware of nutrition.
“I enjoy the Random Acts of Wellness, because it is a simple way to make someone’s day and give them a little nutrition tip,” Zoellner said.