Healthy Students Make Better Learners
You will find resources on school nutrition and how it affects learning. Proper nutrition promotes the optimal growth and development of children. Healthy eating also helps prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure and other conditions that lead to later health problems.
There is a public health crisis facing the United States and many countries around the world. Unlike so many public health crises resulting in disease, it can’t be cured by an inoculation. The disease has reached epidemic proportions and is called childhood obesity. We need to address nutrition in schools before its too late. 20% of our children are considered obese. That’s 30% or more overweight. Our children are growing up in fast food and processed food culture driven by speed, cost, and convenience. The good news is that many people are concerned for our children and are researching ways to halt these trends and turn things around.
Who do you think has a greater influence as a role model on health and nutrition: a parent, teacher or young adults? The Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), believes its young adults, and they are taking advantage of that fact. They have started a program using about 24 high school students to teach nutrition classes to elementary-age children.
The Recess Before Lunch trend is growing. Ten states have Recess Before Lunch policies or recommendations for implementing Recess Before Lunch Programs.
The notion of comfortable cafeterias was first promoted by the Montana Team Nutrition Network. Comfortable Cafeterias have three main goals: improve learning, behavior and student health. Some best practices for ensuring a comfortable and pleasant environment for students to eat is 1) a Recess Before Lunch schedule, 2) adequate time to eat and 3)a school philosophy regarding mealtime.
As you may know, I’m a retired principal but I’d be the first to admit that changing the education system is a lot like turn a huge cruise ship in a small harbor. Possible but not probable and it requires lots of maneuvering. However, a few brave principals across the nation are doing just that and bringing a long-standing school tradition to an end. They are advocating recess before lunch. And in doing so they are getting some amazing results. Kids eat more, waste less food, return to the class calmer, behave better and as a result, instruction time is increased.
First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled her strategy for tackling the nation’s childhood obesity crisis. Mrs. Obama’s initiative is called Let’s Move and includes a website with tools and background on the initiative. Her speech was informative and inspiring. One quote was particularly compelling. “We can’t build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Childhood obesity has taken center stage as children’s #1 health problem. Senators and Congressmen are joining forces and passing legislation for mandatory physical education and many states are reinstating recess. Pediatricians are attempting to advise parents to attain a healthy body weight for their children. They emphasize that healthy bodies healthy minds go hand in hand. Legislators, administrators, and community leaders have joined forces to remove unhealthy food choices from vending machines while transforming school lunch menus across the country. more……
In this article, we will look into the movement that is transforming the nation’s schools, the “Local Food Movement” via school gardens. Americans are facing epidemic levels of childhood onset of diabetes, a disease which in many of these children is preventable. Local schools are implementing gardens which allow for hands-on learning in a variety of educational subjects (science, math, history, economics), in addition to exposing children to a concept of where their food comes from, how it is grown and what different fruits and vegetables taste like. School gardens are a fun way to expand student interest and involvement in their own education and their own long-term health care.
1. Serve a Hot Meal Schools across the country are beginning to prepare hot meals on site making available healthier choices thus eliminating or reducing fried foods and junk food from school grounds. The problem, however, is that healthy foods can take longer to eat and research indicates that eating fast often means children and adults eat more which contributes to the obesity crisis.