This post originally appeared on the blog Sparkling in Second.
Every day I watch my students roll up to school with donuts or Cheetos for breakfast. They take out their snacks and all they have is junk and more junk. I am not judging parents (I am guilty of the donut run), but our system has already hindered our students’ movability (GoNoOdle anyone?), and their need to burn energy is stifled. We need to be the best examples we can be for our students. March is National Nutrition Month, a great time to introduce new practices of healthy living.
Did you know that we have federal guidelines as to what we can and cannot serve our students at lunch and breakfast? And most district have their own policies on what teachers can give to their students. Although this tends to hinder those birthday parties, I stand firm in presenting healthy options for my students.
I found a fun-loving book from Nekter Juice Bar and Alexis Schulze. It’s called Sneaky Spinach. It is about a boy who DOES NOT like vegetables (I’m sure you’ve met this child…). He only likes to eat junk food. His mom finds a way to sneak the spinach into his smoothies, slowly adding more. As he drinks his spinach every day, he gets stronger and feels better.
I think this story is a great introduction into healthy eating.
Nektar’s website has some color pages and a reader’s guide that go along with the book.
Kids Eat Right has some fun, healthy recipes.
Choose My Plate also has recipes, classroom activities, and online games to engage your students in nutrition talk!
I also created a FREE digital activity students can use to check their knowledge on healthy or junky food. Give it a try HERE.
How do you encourage healthy eating in your classroom?
Jen is currently a K-6 math intervention teacher sunny Southern California. She’s taught 1st, 2nd, and 4th, but knows her heart is in primary. She loves to create meaningful activities that are fun and engaging for primary grades. To catch all of the ideas and tips Jen’s shares, connect with her over on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog.