Making your school a Healthy School Environment
Healthy behavior is reinforced when it becomes an environmental norm. When a school agrees to follow guidelines about food offered in class and at events, when fundraisers utilize healthy options, when activity is woven into the school day, it is no longer a sacrifice to make healthy choices... now it's just the way we do things. Let's turn the tide on obesity and resulting chronic diseases in children by helping them develop life long healthy habits.
Go outside with your kids and challenge them how far they can walk everyday. Count the miles across a US map and see how far you travel in a school year and where you traveled (hypothetically).
Reward with fun not food. If you choose food, choose healthy snacks. Good practices make good habits.
Think before you eat. Provide low cost, low sugar, healthy snacks in class.
Providing healthy messages is the easiest strategy to implement and the easiest to overlook. We become comfortable in our environment that we no longer see the messages all around us. Nutrition educators can take a look at your campus with fresh eyes and work with you to send healthy messages to students and their parents.
Healthy Role Models
Everywhere, classroom, cafeteria, and even hallways, students adopt the patterns of behavior they see in adults. Simple changes are easy to do and have a huge impact. Consider next time at your staff meeting or school event what kind of food you can have. Starting a walking group can make a big difference to the culture on campus. Nutrition educators have ideas and resources to help.