Studies have shown that teachers modeling healthy food choices have a far greater impact on kids behavior around food choices than nutrition information alone.
Here are a few ideas for how you can be influential in helping kids eat healthy for life:
- Pack a healthy sack lunch and eat lunch with your students a few times during the school year.
- Keep healthy snacks on your desk; it’s a Win-Win, they will give you energy as well as put a spotlight on healthy foods for your students.
Some ideas: Nuts, Seeds, Chopped Fresh Vegetables and Dips or Nut Butters, Fruits, Whole Grain Breads or Crackers and Nut Butters, Cheese.
- Drink Lots of Water! (From a reusable water bottle.)
- Display a poster in your classroom about eating the rainbow, or have your class create one. There are lots of images available online, or you can download this printable “Eat a Rainbow" coloring page, or our "Veggie Rainbow."
- Have casual conversations with your students about food.
Some ideas: Talk about what you eat and why, how healthy foods give us energy we need, what you like to cook at home, what foods they like to cook with their families.
Check out some great materials from our friends too!
Our friends at the Edible Schoolyard have a wonderful resource page where teachers can submit lessons and share information with each other. ESY Berkeley Director Kyle Cornforth also added these great kitchen resources for the classroom.
Our Salad Bar partners are also busy getting kids active in and out of the classroom. Their Letsmoveschools.org site has some great ideas for physical activity during class time and ways to inspire kids and school staff. Registration is free and opens up a world of fitness for healthy school advocates.
Helping the planet can always start in the classroom and with Captain Planet’s mission to support environmental literacy and stewardship by promoting best practices in the field, everyone wins!
Check out their stellar Leadership Center for their most effective curricula, techniques, approaches and strategies for empowering the next generation of Earth’s caretakers.
The Center for Ecoliteracy focuses on ecological education in K-12 schools recognizing that students need to experience and understand how nature sustains life and how to live accordingly.
Their Free Lesson Plans cover a variety of subjects for the classroom like Designing a Resilient Community, Building a Greenhouse from Recycled Materials, and Interactions in the Garden.
Why invest in teachers’ health and wellness?
- Teachers are in a unique position to model healthy choices, which can have wide-ranging ripple effects.
- Healthy teachers have more energy to perform at the top of their game all day, which contributes to student success.
- Teachers with more nutrition and health education are equipped to be stronger advocates for school wellness policies and apply them to lessons, celebrations and activities.