Wonderopolis explores the topic of after-school snacks with Wonder of the Day #177: What Is the Best After-School Snack?
Do you communicate with parents about nutrition and its impact on children’s health and performance? If so, what resources do you use to help parents understand the facts?
So much of what is taught in the classroom about nutrition and exercise can only be implemented outside the classroom. I’d love to hear how others have tried to bridge the gap and communicate with parents about these issues.
First, I must say I really enjoy Wonderopolis and look forward to seeing what new wonder each day brings.
Nutrition is such an important topic in the news now as children are faced with obesity problems. I have fought the temptation to indulge in sweets and now enjoy fruits (such as apples and green grapes) or raw vegetables with a low calorie dip for snacks. By the way, smoothies made with fruits in a blender are a delicious afternoon beverage. I hope parents are considering these options.
There is a discussion in the community titled The specified item was not found. which references some good resources pertaining to children's nutrition and a list of Thinkfinity resources that relate to Childhood Obesity. If you scroll up in that discussion, you will see some additional resources that also address eating habits of children.
I hope your discussion prompts others to share after-school snack ideas and helpful tips on children's health and nutrition.
Thanks Lynne! It's always great to hear that people are enjoying Wonderopolis and looking forward to new Wonders of the Day.
I appreciate your response with the links to the childhood obesity resources and discussion. I understand this is a difficult issue for educators to deal with, so I'm hoping that some members will share success stories they may have about how they've managed to bridge the gap between the classroom and home with regard to these issues.
We have a healthy eating and lifestyles initiative that includes:
I've uploaded a copy of this month's lunch menu to model how our lunch program is both feasible and affordable.
This is a hard topic!! WIth all of the state initiatives, as well as the push from our district, we are starting to see some progress and success in this area, but since we are such a site-based district, it really varies from school to school. At our elementary school, we have developed a wellness committee. This committee is made up of 2 co-leaders (another teacher and myself), our pe teacher, a few other teachers, our office manager, and a few interested parents. Our principal comes to about 50% of the meetings. We also have our district wellness leader and another representative from one of our grant sources come to most meetings, but not all.
We also have a group called The Healthy Kids Club that has been amazing to partner with. They are acutally part of our local hospital, but they have been absoutely amazing in their support with the school, but also getting information in the hands of parents.
At many of our school-wide functions (back to school night, PBS night, walk-a-thon, pto meetings, carnival, family fun nights,assemblies, IB nights, etc.) where we tend to have a good parent turn out, we always try to have a booth or at least information available to give to families. We also send a monthly phamplet home with students and put a variety of policies, tips, information, etc. in our monthly newsletter and on our webiste.
Good luck! I feel like we have had some great success, but also some challenges, resistance, and obstacles that we sitll are going against! Hope this helps!
Galileo High School in Danville, VA, recently participated in a Make It Happen grant funded by the Danville Regional Foundation. For 6 weeks, students focused on a "Happy, Healthy, Heart." For the Happy part, students kept journals describing things they were grateful for and random acts of kindness they did for others.
To be Healthy, students followed the daily 9-5-2-1-0 Plan--
Lastly, students were Heart conscious by taking several "instant recess" periods during the day when class activities stopped momentarily, and students did exercises standing by their desks. They were encouraged to eat heathy nutrition chips for snacks.
The school also offers a Walking Club that meets 3 afternoons each week. Students and faculty walk the neighborhood for 30 minutes enjoying the fresh air and time for socializing.
Check out the free website Eat Different to guide teenagers in changing their eating habits and using some tools to record these changes and gain support from friends. The site helps you set your own goals and track your progress.
Another free site website for helping people stay fit is Lose It. This site provides a place to track your weight loss and exercise regimen. You can find recipes that promote healthy eating habits. Lose It also offers you the option of sharing your progress with friends who can provide you with extra support and motivation.
If you decide to try one of these sites with students who are struggling with being overweight or obese, please share with us their stories and impressions of the free tools.
CNN Student News released a story June 1 called A Soda Pop Ban? The story focuses on a proposed New York City law that would limit the size of sodas and other sugary drinks that can be sold to students. The ban would prohibit young people from purchasing one of these drinks that was larger than 16 oz. from any public place including schools and restaurants.
The report explains that people drinking beverages with a high sugary content can experience possible side effects, such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and/or cancer, according to some research officials. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City maintains that sodas are a dangerous health risk for today's youth.
This could be a great conversation prompt for a health class or civics class.
What's your opinion on super-sizing? Should New York City pass the "Sugary Drinks Proposal"?
Here's a great list of apps and websites to help students make healthy food choices:
For more details, check out Richard Byrne's blog 5 Resources to Help Students Make Healthy Food Choices published in Free Technology for Teachers July 15, 2013.