HISD dietitian named 2016 Outstanding Nutrition Educator

The Houston Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics presented HISD Education Dietitian Jennifer Lengyel with the 2016 Outstanding Nutrition Education Award recently at its end-of-the-year meeting, recognized Lengyel for her major contributions educating HISD students on nutrition.

Lengyel was awarded the distinction from among two other nutrition education professionals in the Houston area. The nominating committee recognized Lengyel’s inspiring leadership in nutrition education by teaching students healthy eating habits.

Nominating Committee Chair Kasandra Davis praised Lengyel’s innovative ideas for working with librarians, nurses and teachers. “Jenny loves teaching nutrition,” Davis said. “Many students remember her year to year and look forward to her exciting presentations.”

Lengyel’s mission is to instill lifelong healthy choices that result in wellness for HISD students. She encourages students to choose healthy foods so that they can live a healthier life starting from a young age. “My goal is to give students a quality nutrition education experience,” Lengyel said. “I want them to have fun while they learn to eat healthy and stay fit.”

Lengyel adapts and integrates her nutrition lessons to what a school is teaching, celebrating or studying. “I can help students become smart trick-or-treaters for Halloween,” Lengyel said. “Or I can bring a demo cart with my chef friends to expose students to summer squash spaghetti. My lesson plans are very adaptable to support the school’s curriculum.”

Lengyel is very popular with teachers and students. Gregory-Lincoln Education Center Culinary Teacher Kelly Karavias has hosted Lengyel multiple times in her classes. In October, Lengyel taught Karavias’ students how to make Sweet Potato Spice Muffins and encouraged them to share them with their families.

“Her lessons are fun and interactive,” Karavias said. “Jenny knows how to reach kids to make them think about food in a different, more analytical and critical way.”

Lengyel attended more than 100 events this past school year and reached nearly 10,000 students with her nutrition classes, taste testings and health fairs.

If you would like to invite Lengyel to give a nutrition education class at your school, complete a Nutrition Education Request form. Lengyel’s class schedule quickly fills up by mid-September, so get your request in soon.