Getting Started and Setting Goals: It is important to remember that there is no one “correct” way to get started. Some schools like to start with a wellness committee. Others need more time to get like-minded adults working together on a program. Don’t get mired in building a minutely detailed battle plan and don’t get overwhelmed by trying to change everything at once. Pick a goal and move forward. Remember, despite what the industrial food companies want us to believe making small changes to the food we eat (decreasing processed food, sugar sweetened beverage and increasing fruits and vegetables and water) has the biggest bang for the buck in improving wellness outcomes. Go for the long hanging fruit and jump in.
Currently, American’s fruit and vegetable consumption comprise less than 4% of our standard American diet (when discounting potatoes and French fries). The USDA (along with doctor’s, nutritionists and other health providers) recommends that we eat more fruits and vegetables. Below, we’ve included a variety of strategies for getting more of nature’s bounty into our bodies.
Once a school has made a commitment to making better food choices, it is important to be consistent throughout the culture of the school. A healthy snack and celebration policy provides advice and guidelines for promoting healthier choices and helps teachers and parents adhere to the new rules. This is not about "killing the cupcake". Cupcakes have their place in the world. However, the school community is a large one. If every birthday and special event is celebrated with cake and sweets the health of the student body begins to suffer.
Use this template to reach out to members of your local community who might be interested in providing resources to your school. Be creative and think broadly about who can help: Might a local gym provide discounts to teachers, a grocery store sponsor fruits and vegetables for special events, a medical practice do wellness screenings or conduct a assembly or parent event?
You’ve heard it before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. People who skip breakfast are more likely to make unhealthy choice, become tired and irritable (due to drop in blood sugar), have more trouble concentrating and are generally less productive. We often tell our children to eat breakfast but forget about the importance of fueling our own bodies.
You can use your newfound food literacy skills to give your pantry a facelift with these 8 easy steps. Essentially, you want to make sure that the staples you grab support your family’s health and provide you with the biggest nutritional bang for your buck.