Healthy Living Club Works to Foster Healthy Lifestyles in their First Official Year


Maddie Carroll

President Melody Ding and Club Member Joyce Cui work on preparing a healthy, but delicious salad in the Healthy Living Club’s most recent meeting.

Maddie Carroll, Guest Writer

Two years ago, junior Melody Ding worked with counselor Mrs. Morgenthaler to create a club dedicated to promoting and exploring healthy lifestyles: Healthy Living Club. This 2016-2017 school year will be the clubs first official year and they have many plans in store.

Madison Dodger Online sat down with President Melody Ding to discuss why she was motivated to create the club. “It is a great way for all of [our friends] to hang out, eat food, and explore a common interest – eating healthily.” Melody also discussed some of the plans the club has for the year, “We are hoping to create a school vegetable garden with Project Aware”. The joint effort will hopefully enable the food to use fresh vegetables in their lunches at a low cost. This is a part of the club’s larger effort to survey students on their satisfaction with the nutrition, taste, and price of current school lunches.

Also interviewed was Vice President Maddie Stein, whose mother spoke last year at a meeting. When asked why she joined the club, Maddie Stein responded, “I have always had an interest in nutrition because my mother is a nutritionist and I wanted to spread the word in the high school about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

In their pilot years, the club analyzed certain fad diets, such as juice cleanses or vegetarianism, in order to evaluate how they worked for teens. Additionally, they examined various organic versus conventional foods, comparing their taste and nutrition. Over a series of weeks, the group watched “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”, a television series focused on combating childhood obesity and poor school lunches in American schools. Through this, members learned about simple ways to add more nutrition to one’s diet and got the idea for their vegetable garden. For one meeting, the club had a nutritionist, Jen Stein, visit to discuss her career and give advice to students. The overall message of the talk was that various diets work differently for everyone, and it is important to know what works for you.

Madison Dodger Online visited the club’s most recent meeting, where they worked together to make a healthy salad to enjoy during lunch. Members brought in spring greens, bean sprouts, blueberries, rotisserie chicken, croutons, chia seeds and flax seeds, and balsamic vinaigrette. After making the salad, the group sat down to enjoy their healthy and delicious lunch. The club hopes to make this a regular occurrence, where students either bake food at home or during lunch in order to explore healthy or allergy friendly alternatives to various foods and treats.

The club not only focuses on physical health through diet and exercise, but mental health as well. Last year, the club discussed stress-reducing methods and even made stress balls before AP exams. This year, the club is hoping to have Mary Lea Crawley come in and have a workshop on mindfulness.

Healthy Living Club meets every Monday in E42 with Mrs. Morgenthaler and new members are always encouraged and welcome.