Nutrition & Physical Activity

Our Programs

The nutrition theater hosts an interactive exer-cycle, the Poe Cafeteria and much more to ensure that students learn about good nutrition and active lifestyles. WakeMed’s PlayWELL Park is the world’s first health education playground, offering children the opportunity to learn about health experientially while having fun.

As a proud recipient of the SNAP-Ed grant, the Poe Center is able to provide intensive nutrition and physical activity programming to many low-income populations in North Carolina.

Food Friends

Grade Level: Preschool
Program Length: 30 minutes

We need food from every food group every day. Preschoolers will learn when to eat and what to eat through age appropriate songs, rhymes and pretend play. Children identify healthy and less healthy food choices with the help of “Healthy Harry” and “Grumpy Gus” puppets; use “Poe pretend-food” to plan and safely prepare a balanced meal. The importance of trying at least “just one bite” of new foods will also be addressed!

Grow It, Try it, Like it

Grade Level: Preschool
Program Length: 7 sessions, 30 minutes each

Grow it, Try It, Like It is a garden-themed nutrition education series for preschoolers. The seven session series introduces children to: three fruits – peaches, strawberries, and cantaloupe, and three vegetables – spinach, sweet potatoes, and crookneck squash. The 30 minute sessions include tasting fruits and vegetables while incorporating physical activity, literacy, songs and nutrition education activities that introduce MyPlate. Promote learning at home with fun parent/child activities and family-sized recipes that give tips for cooking with children.


Healthy Habits

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 1st
Program Length: 45 minutes

Are you ready for an adventure? Discover the importance of healthy habits, check out what foods belong on “MyPlate” and visit the Poe Cafeteria. Learn about the importance of physical activity and heart health during your expedition, too!

Growing Healthy Kids

Grade Level: 1st – 2nd
Program Length: 8-12 sessions, 60 minutes each

Growing Healthy Kids is a research-based curriculum from Oregon State University. Students learn about gardening, health, and plant biology while creating a paper, garden mural to be displayed at your school. Growing Healthy Kids lessons are fun and include music, physical activity, and a snack each lesson. This program is easily adjustable to fit into your schedule and can be offered for special education classes or as an after school program.

Program Goals Include:
–  Increase the students’ exposure to vegetables and fruits.
–  Increase the students’ consumption of vegetables and fruits and model healthy food and lifestyle choices.


Fantastic Foods

Grade Level: 2nd – 3rd
Program Length: 45 minutes

Meet the Food Super Heroes! Chief Carbohydrate, Officer Protein and Sergeant Mineral are just a few of the Nutrient Super Six. Participants will also enjoy the serving size challenge, figuring out food labels and understanding what the best choices are for “MyPlate”.


Play Hard, Stay Fit

Grade Level: 2nd – 3rd
Program Length: 45 minutes

Is “play” physical activity? You bet! This session will examine the questions of “What is exercise?” and “What does it mean to be healthy or unhealthy?” Participants experience the correlation between nutrition and physical activity; calories in = calories out. They will discover their personal fitness likes and dislikes and the risks associated with poor health behaviors while learning how physical activity benefits every aspect of their lives.


Wholesome Routines

Grade Level: 3rd – 5th
Program Length: 6 sessions, 45 to 60 minutes each

Wholesome Routines is a comprehensive nutrition and physical activity education program. This program consists of 6 lessons with an overall goal of promoting healthy eating and physical activity. Through classroom lessons, games, skits and activities, participating students will learn to be healthy and fit…in a fun way! Lessons include developing healthy habits, reviewing MyPlate and nutrients, importance of physical activity and good hydration, learning to read food labels and understanding serving size, and how to maintain a healthy body weight. This is a three year series, which starts with third grade students and continues with them through fifth grade.

Food for Thought

Grade Level: 4th – 5th
Program Length: 60 minutes

Have your students ever asked… Why do we need food? What is “MyPlate”? What are the different food groups and do I need to eat foods from all of them? How does media influence food choices? Are all body types the same? Is dieting healthy? If you said yes to any of these questions, don’t give it a second thought; sign up for this program today. The session will answer each of these questions and more.






“FITT” for Life

Grade Level: 4th – 5th
Program Length: 60 minutes

You’ll feel great after taking this program as we introduce the importance of regular physical activity. Participants will experience the balance between eating and exercise while reinforcing the benefits of an active lifestyle. This program introduces the different levels of exercise as well as the components of a good athlete. We encourage participants to make a lifelong commitment to their health.

Media Smart Youth

Ages: 11 – 13
Program Length: 10 sessions, 90 minutes each

Media Smart Youth is designed to teach middle school adolescents the skills they need to understand and critically evaluate media messages.  The lessons and activities address media analysis, nutrition and physical activity.  A key portion of this program is for the group to create health messages for their peers using media.



Mission Nutrition

Grade Level: 6th – 8th
Program Length: 60 minutes

Mission Nutrition is an interactive and conversational program that explores the challenge of balancing food and physical activity. Activities are designed to help participants discover the importance of food labels and the barriers to healthy eating and the risk associated with over- and under-eating. Participants also are helped to understand messages in the media targeting teens, and how they affect their food choices.

Wellness Works

Grade Level: 9th – 12th
Program Length: 60 minutes

Wellness Works builds on participant’s knowledge of basic nutrition and physical activity. This program uses USDA guidelines to demonstrate how to plan healthy meal patterns Participants will examine healthy eating habits that enhance good nutrition, analyze food labels,learn about normal growth during puberty, identify media and peer pressures that result in unhealthy weight control, and chronic diseases that can occur due to lack of physical activity or unhealthy eating habits.

Fitness is Fun

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2nd
Program Length: 45 minutes

The emphasis is on fun as participants learn about the activity pyramid and why being active is so important. An interactive game teaches kids how to pack a tasty yet nutritious lunch.

Menus, Muscles and More

Grade Level: 3rd – 5th
Program Length: 45 minutes

Participants review “MyPlate” and participate in a practical restaurant activity that addresses hidden sources of fat. They also ride the exer-cycle as a practical application of the calories-in versus calories-out formula.



Ages: 5 and Up
Program Length: 1 hour

Are you ready to “come on down” to participate in a fun filled game show?  Join our wacky hosts for a nutrition and physical activity themed, interactive and educational program.  This program is designed for all ages.  Groups of up to 200 can participate and  FAMILIES can compete TOGETHER to reach the “Million- Dollar” question.

Please Note: This program is designed for large groups consisting of both youth and adults.

CookWELL Kitchen

Grade Level: Contact the Poe Center for details
Program Length: 1 – 2 hours

The CookWELL teaching kitchen allows people of all ages to learn hands-on cooking and nutrition skills. Participants learn basic kitchen safety, nutrition, and make a simple, healthy, and delicious dish. Programs are led by ServSafe-trained professionals using evidence-based curriculum. The CookWELL Kitchen can comfortably accommodate up to 16 people, and has 4 workstations.


GrowWELL Garden

Grade Level: 1st – 5th
Program Length: 30 minutes – 1 hour

Edible gardening is a great way to learn about plant growth and help make meaningful connections to nutrition. In the GrowWELL Garden, participants will discover and have hands-on interactions with the seasonal crops growing in the garden, learn about plant development, fundamentals of composting, and the importance of pollinators within the garden.


This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights
regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions
participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race,
color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation
for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information
(e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State
or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech
disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally,
program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination
Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office,
or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the
form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or
letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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