Collegiate Champion Karissa Becknel promotes healthy eating on her campus

As part of SOPHE’s Collegiate Champion program pilot year, students in public health programs/institutions are promoting health education activities on their own campus. For Karissa Becknel, student at Howard University, this means demonstrating tips for eating healthy over the holidays (and beyond).

Becknel reflects on her fall semester activity:

karissaDuring the fall semester, I hosted an event called “Healthy Holidays.” The event was to occur in the later part of the semester, closer to the actual time of the major holidays. This event was held in a Howard University’s dormitory main lounge.

“Being a health educator, I believe in the promotion and advocacy of healthy practices. I created this event in hopes that students would take the initiative to incorporate great health practices during the holidays.”

“Healthy Holidays” showed students how they could merge healthier cuisine options into their holiday favorites. It is interesting to note that most Americans will gain about one to two pounds over the holidays; however; this weight gain will never be loss. I created handouts that intricately explained better food substitutes, and it also gave tips on how to garner better health practices. I organized the handout in terms of starters, main courses, and desserts. This required me to do a bit of research in regards to healthy holiday options. For instance, the handout mentions that white cut meats are a better alternative than dark cut meats. Also, that a great way to prevent weight gain is to supplement carbohydrates such as bread and rice with vegetables.

A cool aspect about planning this event is that I prepared a homemade quinoa medley and sliced fruit with yogurt sauce. I wanted the students to get a simple taste at a nutritious and delicious meal that could be applied in their everyday lives.

Karissa Becknel, SOPHE Collegiate Champion 2017-18

Application information for the Collegiate Champion program for the next academic year will be announced Summer 2018 and open to SOPHE Student members.