1. Start the morning right with a healthy and nutritious breakfast. This gives children the energy they need to concentrate at school
2. Look over the school lunch menu and choose items that provide your child with the nutrition they will need to get through their day. If you plan to pack a lunch, try to include the five food groups.
3. Get creative with providing your child with healthy snacks- fresh fruits, raw vegetables, peanut butter and celery sticks, yogurt raisins.
4. Don't fall into the "low-fat" trap. Not all “Reduced Fat” snacks are low calorie. In fact, many are high in sugar and have little in the way of nutritional value. For a healthier choice, opt or fresh fruit.
5. Make an active effort to include kids in all aspects of meal preparation: from grocery shopping to cooking, kids need to learn about making healthy choices .
6.Avoid using food as a reward or as means of disciplining children. This can create massive psychological issues between children and food, some that they might carry into adulthood.
7. Demonstrate moderation with sweets and snack foods so that your child can develop a more balanced attitude towards them. Occasional sweet treats are okay as children need to learn that they have choices but to make good ones.
8. Try to discourage your children from snacking during TV time. Watching television leads children to ignore hunger cues and can often result in overeating
9. Support your child in their attempts to be active, letting them try new physical activities they might like. Plan regular family time outside that involves moving about.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC (2017), “the percentage of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s.” This is a clear indication of the poor eating and nutritional habits of school-aged children across the nation and the resulting effects on not only health related problems, but the overall relation to the cognitive ability in children who may not be eating a nutritionally well balanced diet
This site has been put together to provide students and their parents with ideas to make healthy choices that can help instill children with healthy habits that will last well into their life and improve academic success. Nutrition education has shown to be effective in changing students’ eating habits and henceforth improving their academic performance and improving the quality of their school life (Florence et al 2016). A review of literature studies shows that school-based interventions have tremendously positive effects in improving the nutritional knowledge, eating habits, and physical health of children. Children develop eating habits through observation and active learning, and it is my thought that teachers as well as parents play a major role in influencing them. Therefore, the role of teachers is particularly important- reinforcing key nutritional concepts to influence children in make healthy choices throughout their life.
Teachers all agreed that nutritional education helped to promote positive behavior in class. Students were more focused, alert, and active in class when compared to students with poor nutritional knowledge (Mooney et al, 2011). Results also showed that students are more likely to eat healthy when healthy options are provided on the school menu. Increasing the availability of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products in school meals can promote healthy eating choices in children. It is my hope that by providing my students with a nutrition education program and offering healthy choices in our schools lunch program, we can improve school-wide test scores and grades, reduce absences and behavioral problems, and equip your children with healthy habits that will follow them throughout their lives.