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Take Note: Food for thought; Checks in the mail

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Food for thought

If, as the saying goes, you are what you eat, students in Paul Stitt's nutrition-education program have nothing to worry about.

Students in the biochemist's project have been snacking on "brainy bagels," provided free by Mr. Stitt's Wisconsin-based Natural Ovens Bakery. The bagels contain 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance for all vitamins and minerals, Mr. Stitt said.

Among the nutrients in the bagels is omega 3, an essential fatty acid believed to improve learning ability in animals. Students--almost all 4th graders--in 20 schools throughout the Midwest are eating the bagels as part of a pilot program to teach them about nutrition.

Mr. Stitt said his program will show it is worthwhile to stress the importance of nutrition to students. "We want to prove to [schools] that it is wise; it is money well spent to put nutritionally balanced foods in [school] lunch programs."

Teachers spend 40 hours learning how to teach nutrition, Mr. Stitt said. Students learn the elements of good nutrition and how to lead a nutritionally healthful lifestyle--and they eat brainy bagels as an alternative to snacks high in fat and sugar.

Though there are no hard data yet to prove that the program and the bagels have enhanced learning, Mr. Stitt reports that fewer students have been out sick and that students are "asking better questions."

Mr. Stitt said he has no immediate plans to expand his nutrition-education program.

"We don't intend to feed the world for free," he said. "We want to do this enough times so it's gospel, it's second nature to eat nutritionally."

Checks in the mail

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education has encountered what its spokeswoman, Paula Keyes Kun, calls one of the "best problems" imaginable.

It seems the organization has been inundated with requests for copies of both its draft content standards and the proposed standards for coaches since Education Week wrote about them last month. (See Education Week, Oct. 19, 1994.)

But NASPE cannot process the requests without a $6 check for each document. Requests, along with checks, should be mailed to NASPE, 1900 Association Dr., Reston, Va. 22091.

--Melanie A. Lasoff & Karen Diegmueller

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