Go, Slow, Whoa!

Work was a little on the slow side, so I did some research for my school nutrition projects. I’m currently working with some local schools here in East Tennessee on implementing the NIH’s “Go, Slow, Whoa” program. A really fun and easy concept – foods are categorized into the color-coded Go, Slow, Whoa, and kids learn to eat more green foods, less yellow, and even less red. You can read about it here.

Basically, the GO foods are what some of us call “Real Foods” or “Whole Foods”, unadulterated, good for you basic food ingredients like fresh fruits/veggies, lean protein sources, and whole grains.

Once you start processing, adding sugars/fats, foods become SLOW, and if you take those food products even further from mother nature (i.e. a french fries) you’re now in WHOA land.

GO foods – eat as often as you want (technically.. although I guess it could become WHOA if you overdosed on anything)

SLOW foods – every few days

WHOA foods – reserved for special occasions

The cafeteria will place color-coded circles next to each item in the lunch serving line, so students will be able to see the colors/categories as they choose their lunch. Hopefully the program will have great success. We’re due to start in less than 2 weeks now.

To see how my day’s eating has added up, I though I’d run my meals through the color-coding and see how much green/yellow/red my day had:

Breakfast: whole grain hot cereal, almond butter, coffee with creamer (just a tsp)

Snack: Hershey kiss from nursing station, 1/2 banana, oatmeal squares cereal

Lunch: potato soup, apple, low-fat chocolate milk

Work Snack: donut from nursing station (ahh nurses you’re killing me!), skim milk

Home Snack: light string cheese, whole-grain crackers

Dinner: roasted broccoli, chik’n patty, whole-wheat bread, light laughing cow cheese

So, moral of the story: stick to foods from my kitchen. Most of the reds came from hospital territory today, with the exception of my daily coffee creamer. haha.

The program has really opened the staff’s eyes as to what they’re serving the kids (obviously no school wants to have 80% WHOA foods, with just a few GO options mixed in). After analyzing the schools’ menus, it’s been fun to educate the staff about healthier GO substitutions.

Now I will say that this program does not address portion control at all. You could eat a completely green/GO diet, and gain weight. But I think it’s a very simplified, easy-to-understand method to teach nutrition to young kids.


One Response

  1. […] basically a progress meeting on our Go, Slow, Whoa program. You can read more about the program here. Last school year we implemented the program in 3 elementary schools, and we’re launching it in 4 […]

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