Healthy Classroom Ideas & Resources for Teachers

July 21, 2017

As a teacher it’s not always easy encouraging your students to eat healthy. Most kids would prefer to snack on a candy bar rather than a healthy vegetable. But being a teacher comes the responsibility to be a role model for your students. Implementing routines in the classroom to promote healthy eating and living can have a significant impact on your students well-being. Here are some healthy ideas to practice with your students

WHAT YOU CAN START DOING RIGHT AWAY

  • Model healthy behavior in the classroom – drink water, eat fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks, etc.
  • Encourage students to think critically about how food makes them feel – how does eating apples, bananas or almonds compare to eating fries and a milkshake?
  • Sit with students in the cafeteria and encourage them to try new things. Ask questions about their meal – how does it taste, who made it for them, what do they like best?
  • Ask students about their favorite foods and what they like to eat outside of school. Make suggestions to stimulate curiosity about new and nutritious fruits and vegetables.
  • Encourage students to offer to help in the kitchen if their family cooks at home – whether it’s doing dishes or peeling carrots.

WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH A LITTLE PLANNING

  • Start an after-school cooking club or global cuisines club
  • Incorporate nutritious foods into classroom celebrations or substitute healthier options for school bake sales – fresh fruit skewers, zucchini bread, etc.
  • With help from motivated students, advocate for healthier options in the cafeteria
  • Invite local chefs, farmers and other food industry professionals to talk to students on career day
  • Plan a “field trip” for your students to visit your school kitchen and speak with the individuals who ensure there’s food for students each day
  • Use whole fruits and vegetables to teach science or biology lessons – for example, to show the parts of a plant, vegetable families, etc.
  • Teach a lesson on junk food marketing and how it targets school-age children – have students develop and draw their own healthy food mascots
  • Use food as a creative writing prompt – describe your favorite food, write instructions to preparing a recipe, review your favorite restaurant, etc.

HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR HEALTHY SCHOOLS & CLASSROOMS

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