Food Re-Education for Elementary School Health

School kids eating healthy lunches in the cafeteria

The Community Relations Department at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center is pleased to offer Food Re-Education for Elementary School Health (FRESH), an innovative nutrition education program available to elementary schools in Southeastern Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

Specialized studies in the United States have identified several modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in children, which are smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and lack of exercise. FRESH is designed to lower future heart disease risk by teaching children good life-long nutrition and exercise habits.

Recent findings from the CDC report show that:

17% of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are obese

70% of obese children had at least one Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) risk factor, and 39% had two or more

80% of adult smokers begin smoking before 18 years of age

25-30% is the increased risk of developing heart disease in non-smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work

  • Obese children are more likely to have an increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
  • Children from families with premature heart disease are at a greater risk for developing heart disease in the future.

  • Obese children are more likely to become obese adults. Adult obesity is associated with a number of serious health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
  • If children are overweight, obesity in adulthood is likely to be more severe.

Schools We Visit

FRESH uses a variety of formats to teach elementary school students about healthy living. Lesson topics include the heart, diabetes, obesity, My Plate, food labels, physical fitness, healthy snacking and harmful effects of tobacco use. The goal of FRESH is to educate children on the ways to prevent cardiovascular disease. We hope to steer children on a FRESH path to heart health!

Baltimore-area schools FRESH educators regularly visit include:

  • Archbishop Borders
  • Elmwood Elementary School
  • Essex Elementary School
  • Graceland Park Elementary/Middle School
  • Grange Elementary School
  • Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School

  • John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School
  • Norwood Elementary School
  • Our Lady of Hope
  • Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
  • Patterson Park Public Charter School
  • Sandy Plains Elementary School

  • Shady Spring Elementary School
  • St. Casimir School
  • St. Clement Mary Hofbauer School
  • Sussex Elementary School
  • Wolfe Street Academy
  • Holabird Academy

Our Educators

Kelli Barbato

Community Relations Coordinator

Kelli Barbato teaches Food Re-Education for Elementary School Health (FRESH) and Healthy Eating, Activity and Recreations for Today’s Scouts (HEARTS) to third and fourth graders. She represents the Medical Center to several community associations, participates in health fairs and offers blood pressure screenings to community members.

Kelli earned an undergraduate degree in family studies at Towson University. Before joining Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, she worked in several child-related facilities and classrooms.

Kelli Barbato

April Meise

Community Relations Coordinator

April Meise has been part of the community relations team for over five years. She teaches Food Re-education for Elementary School Health (FRESH) to elementary students, offers blood pressure screenings at senior centers, and represents the hospital at health fairs and community events.

April holds an undergraduate degree in psychology. Prior to serving Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, she worked at St. Vincent’s Center, a residential treatment center for abused and neglected children.

April Meise

Contact Us

For more information about FRESH, please contact our representatives.

Kelli Barbato
Phone: 410-550-6960
E-mail: [email protected]

April Meise
Phone: 410-550-6958
E-mail: [email protected]