UC Davis Nutrition Department Cooperative Extension Specialist Dr. Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr has done several studies centering on the use of school gardens in academic instruction to teach nutrition and promote better eating habits. "They say it takes a whole village to raise a child—that´s really what is required to improve children´s nutrition," says Zidenberg-Cherr. “We want children to realize that it feels better to eat healthier foods and to exercise. We want to give them the tools to make changes for life. Simply changing the food selection at schools and forcing kids to eat it is not enough.”
The Department of Nutrition is committed to extending science-based information to the public through local, state, national and international channels. Research helps formulate policies, nutrition recommendations, and provides guidance to improve the health and nutritional status of the individual and populations. Examples include the establishment of new child growth standards, school garden and nutrition education programs, and other programs to reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases. Below are publications and resources created by Nutrition Department faculty that are available to the general public.
Information sheets created by Dr. Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr and staff that cover items of interest in the area of Nutrition such as energy drinks, fiber, soy, or St. John´s wort.
A bimonthly publication prepared by Dr. Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr and staff. This publication is designed to provide research-based information on ongoing nutrition and food-related programs.
An innovative curriculum created by Dr. Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr and staff for grades four through six that offers teachers a direct link between the garden and nutrition education. Nine lessons are designed to teach children and their families about nutrition by relating each lesson to a garden activity. The curriculum uses the garden to integrate disciplines, including science, mathematics, language arts, history, environmental studies, nutrition and health, while reinforcing some of the California academic content standards.
Dr. Lucia Kaiser maintains the UC Cooperative Extension Community Nutrition website, which provides research updates, nutrition education resources, and evaluation tools that can help those working in the community to support Americans in adopting healthy lifestyles and improving the food environment.
In conjunction with California Department of Education, Drs. Rachel Scherr, Marilyn Briggs, and Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr have created a set of nutrition competencies and a competency-based resource guide. Connecting the Dots… is filled with materials that have been created by nutrition, health, and education experts. It has been created as a way for child care providers and teachers of preschool-aged children to have an array of teaching materials that cover the Nutrition Competencies and Grade Level Expectations.
Together with other members of the Steering Committee of the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group (IZiNCG), Prof. Kenneth H. Brown and Dr. Sonja Y. Hess developed brief summaries of recommended methods for assessing and improving zinc status.
Nutrition News for Africa is a monthly electronic newsletter whose aim is to disseminate state-of-the-art research and policy papers to scientists, program planners, policy makers, and opinion leaders working in the field of public health nutrition in Africa. The newsletter is prepared as a collaborative effort of Helen Keller International (HKI) and the Program in International and Community Nutrition (PICN) of the University of California, Davis. HKI regional staff members and students and faculty members of the PICN identify and summarize relevant articles and policy statements from the scientific literature and international agency publications.
Feeling Fine Online is a web site produced by Dr. Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr that contains new, research-based information made available by means of brief video presentations on such topics as "Health Benefits of Dietary Flavanols" with UCD Nutrition faculty member Dr. Carl Keen, and how to "Eat Smart, Play Hard" with UCD Nutrition faculty member Dr. Liz Applegate.
A research-based newsletter prepared by Lucia Kaiser, Ph.D., the University of California for professionals interested in maternal and infant nutrition.
The UC Davis Human Lactation Center provides a focal point for communication among researchers, clinicians, policy-makers and educators to assure that the latest research-based information is made available to those working with lactating women and their infants. The center also aims to foster communication and collaboration among faculty and other professionals interested in human lactation research.
An interactive application created by Mical Shilts, Marcel Horwitz, and Dr. Marilyn Townsend intended to aid middle school students in personal dietary analysis and "guided goal setting".