A nutritious diet, or lack thereof, can have a long-lasting impact on athletic performance, mental acuity, and overall wellness. Research shows that students from low-income households are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet:
- Food deserts, areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, tend to be inhabited by low-income residents (American Nutrition Association)
- Lack of nutritional foods leads to deficiencies in key vitamins such as vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate, which can cause personality changes, irritability, mood swings, depression, and memory problems (National Institute of Health)
A key goal of our organization is to create habitual awareness of how the body responds to different foods and to help students develop strategies for encouraging healthier eating during the school day and with their families at home. Typical activities include nutrition and cooking workshops, food diaries and meal planning activities. These often take place in conjunction with parents and guardians. Furthermore, only healthy foods and water provided are allowed for both staff and scholars to enforce our program’s healthy eating habits.
Each year, Mission Squash delivers 1,000 hours of fully staffed Squash, Fitness and programming, including 10 hours of family nutrition workshops and student nutrition workshops with our partner Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute. Additionally, from time to time, students take part in athletic activities outside of squash like rock climbing, soccer, or calisthenics, and learn about other aspects of mind and body wellness through workshops and trips.