Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nutrition/Wellness Policies

With school starting soon, children in many school districts will be receiving their “summer letters” in the mail.  These are letters from teachers, welcoming their new students into the classrooms.  This first interaction children have with their upcoming teachers helps alleviate some first day jitters. 

One thing I include in my welcome letter is my Healthy Snack Policy as well as a link to our school district’s Wellness Policy.  My Healthy Snack Policy is: “Bring a healthy snack such as fruit, whole grain crackers with cheese or peanut butter, popcorn, veggies, 100% fruit juice, water, or milk.  JUNK FOOD—candy, chips, soda, or any drink that is not 100% fruit juice is not allowed to be consumed in Room 46.  We will learn the difference between food as a fuel and food as a treat this year.  Being healthy is important.  Please see the school district’s Wellness Program policy:”
I started my Healthy Snack Policy after becoming an ACE certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant.  I noticed that my students were eating Doritos at 10 o’clock in the morning!  Eww!  Now I like Doritos as much as the next person but as a treat at a Super Bowl party, for example, not a midmorning snack.
Unfortunately some grownups don’t understand the importance of good nutrition for ultimate brain/body functioning.  Good nutrition contributes to better focus, self-control, and learning.  This is win-win for everyone—the students, their classmates, teachers, and families.
The new USDA dietary guidelines are so easy to follow.  All you have to do is divide your plate.  (See the picture to the right.)  There is a lot of great information on the USDA website with updates scheduled throughout the summer.
Snacking is an important way for children to get all of the nutrients they need each day.  Healthy snacking helps keep blood sugar levels steady.  My Healthy Snack Policy is based on the concept that fueling the brain/body during the school day is crucial in helping kids learn and behave.  I believe in making every calorie count.  Check out some cookbooks to help you get started.  I found some great books HERE.
I’m hoping that this year I can help my students achieve their utmost awesome potential.  I’m hoping I have the help and support of their grownups.
Does your school have a wellness policy?  Leave me a comment.  I’d love to hear from you.

1 comment:

  1. I think healthy snacks are a great idea! I wish more schools enforced this policy.