ASU nutrition students help kids crave healthy foods

July 10, 2013

On any given day, the Kitchen Café – ASU’s state-of -the-art learning food lab at the downtown campus – is bustling with activity as nutrition and food service management students learn to prepare, cook and serve meals.

Today is a bit different. ASU nutrition student Amy Christman shows campers how to cook healthy meals. Download Full Image

Most of the eager students watching today’s cooking demonstration and preparing dishes need a stool to reach their cook tops.

“Has anyone had egg drop soup before?” ASU Nutrition and Exercise Promotion student Amy Christman asked.

Seeing one hand pop up, Christman cheerfully exclaims, “Good! A lot of first timers. I promise it’ll be good.”

Christman’s students are here for Camp CRAVE, an interactive summer camp that combines food, fun and fitness. Taught by ASU nutrition students, campers in grades 4-6 learn the importance of healthy living, including how to prepare a nutritious meal by incorporating the new USDA MyPlate guidelines.

“We are excited to bring this program to the community,” said Michelle Miller, Camp CRAVE director and project coordinator for the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion. “ASU students are introducing what they’re learning about health and fitness directly into our community around the downtown campus. It’s linking ASU’s academic world with the community in a very hands-on, health-focused way.”

In its inaugural year, Camp CRAVE was funded by the Virginia G. Piper Foundation and puts ASU’s School of Nutrition and Health Promotion students on the front lines of teaching children who otherwise might not be willing to try nutritious, unique foods about healthy, active lifestyles.

“A lot of the kids aren’t fond of veggies, but I’ve learned that if I can make it colorful and encourage kids to try it, they will,” Christman said.

A typical day at camp involves group exercise and learning about how to prepare a variety of foods such as a Native American dish, a healthier spaghetti sauce and, of course, egg drop soup.

As campers expertly whisk the eggs for their soup, Christman continues her instruction, encouraging the kids to add a variety of veggies to their soup.

“I want peas and carrots!”

“I want everything!”

Through the Kitchen Café experience, students discover healthier alternatives to fried or heavily breaded staples that are often part of adolescent diets. Whether it is with preparation of whole or raw foods, or understanding the alternatives for meal combinations, students come away with a new appreciation of and exposure to different foods. They learn basic kitchen preparation techniques and safety around appliances from Kitchen Café’s Chef Kent. At the end of camp, students took home a recipe book to share with their families.

The curriculum and menu planning was jointly developed by ASU and partners such as Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the downtown Phoenix YMCA. Two sessions of the two week camp were offered this summer with the hopes of adding another session or two next year, and involving more ASU students and community partners.

“This experience has not only enhanced my learning as a health professional, but enabled me to foster relationships within my community,” Christman said. “I can’t wait to see how this program continues to enhance the lives of people within the greater Phoenix area and ASU students alike. The experience was truly unforgettable.”

School of Nutrition and Health Promotion students interested in participating in Camp CRAVE can contact Michelle Miller (602) 496-2218.


Sun Devils to visit China for Pac-12 Globalization Initiative

July 10, 2013

Commissioner Larry Scott and the Pac-12 Conference announced today three summer tours to China for Pac-12 student-athletes and coaches as part of its long-term globalization initiative. Started in 2011, the Pac-12 Globalization Initiative was designed to proactively promote the member universities through student-athlete exchanges and sport.

This August, the Arizona State men’s basketball team and the California women’s basketball team will visit China to compete against university and professional teams, and participate in cultural exchange and goodwill activities with their peer student-athletes. Download Full Image

“We are honored and excited to travel to China in what will be a great educational experience for our program, on and off the court,” said Sun Devil head coach Herb Sendek. “We appreciate the opportunity to play against international competition, to learn and travel to a wonderful country, and to grow the Arizona State University brand in all areas.”

The Pac-12 partnered with Hupu Sports Media, a top-tier Chinese sports marketing company, to help arrange and publicize the games in Zhaoqing and Nanning for the ASU tour. For the Cal tour of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, the conference partnered with the Liaoning and Bayi Chinese professional women's basketball clubs to arrange the games.

Also in August, the Pac-12 will send a delegation of current and former Pac-12 men’s basketball coaches – Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson, former University of Oregon coach Ernie Kent and Cal's associate head coach Travis DeCuire – to lead coaching clinics for more than 150 coaches from all over China.

Coaching clinics are the next step in the Pac-12’s partnership with the Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC), which hosted the Pac-12’s inaugural summer tour with UCLA men’s basketball, arranged this year’s games against Chinese university teams and participated in the U.S.-China Symposium on Collegiate Sports Development in March in Las Vegas at the 2013 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Earlier this summer in June, a Pac-12 women’s volleyball all-star team led by USC head coach Mick Haley played six matches in Shanghai and Huaian City against professional teams, and participated in cultural and sightseeing activities throughout China.

“These tours can be transformative moments for our student-athletes,” said Larry Scott, Pac-12 commissioner. “For many of the students, this is their first international trip and they will return to their universities with meaningful life experiences of visiting another country and learning more about another culture.”

In addition to the three basketball games, both the ASU and Cal teams will have the opportunity to experience Chinese culture, visit historic landmarks and engage with their Chinese counterparts in official ceremonies and off-the-court activities.

The tours offer Pac-12 universities a new way to support their important globalization strategies currently in place in countries like China.

“In the long run, the Pac-12 Globalization Initiative can become a great vehicle to augment our member institutions’ existing efforts to build their brands and expand opportunities in China,” Scott said.

Details of upcoming tours:

Aug. 1-9 – Coaches' clinics in Shanghai at Shanghai Jiaotong University

Aug. 9-19 – ASU men’s basketball
Aug 12: ASU vs. Tsinghua University in Beijing
Aug 16: ASU vs. Fujian SBS (Chinese CBA pro team) in Zhaoqing
Aug 18: ASU vs. Fujian SBS (Chinese CBA pro team) in Nanning

Aug 17-26 – Cal women’s basketball
Aug 19: Cal vs. Liaoning (Chinese WCBA pro team) in Beijing
Aug 20: Cal vs. Bayi (Chinese WCBA pro team) in Beijing
Aug 23: Cal vs. Shanghai Jiaotong University in Shanghai (to be confirmed)

Juno Schaser

Event coordinator, Biodesign Institute