How can we Encourage Healthy Eating in School?

One exceedingly challenging task is getting kids to
eat right. Implementing right eating habits is necessary, given that childhood
obesity is on the rise. Let us look at how it is possible to encourage
healthy eating in school
.

Green Ain’t Always Mean

Kids must be made to realise that while the greens
on their plate may look dismal or taste yucky, greens add to their mental and
physical growth. The methodology used should kick in, so that they comprehend
the advantages of kale, spinach, or any other green that they detest. They
should not be put off with the meal but be encouraged to dive into the salad.

Healthy Junk Options

Children hardly ever gravitate to the best eating
options available. If you want them to eat right, stop forcing them, lead by
example instead. That will get the child’s attention before insisting on a
greasy alternative.

In school, a wide range of options that also
include the so-called junk food can be included in the meal. Instead of a
greasy patty on the burger buns, use a healthier alternative. French fries with
the burgers can be baked not fried. Schools should also make a note of children
prone to allergies.

Veggie and Fruit Garden

Include outdoor programs like behind the scenes of
a commercial kitchen. As they learn what goes into creating a healthy or
substantive meal, they will digest the information. As they observe that waste
is being used for compost, their brains will start ticking.

Involve children in creating a veggie and fruit
garden in school. As an activity, it is a wonderful medium for them to plant
seeds and saplings and watch them grow while they nurture their little plant
baby. Once they nurture the plants, they will want a piece of the pie. It is as
simple as that – kids love projects that offer them something in return!

Snacking is not Bad

Schools
should also include snacks for kids
, snacks
that are not oily, buttery or have excessive trans fats. Children should be
able to pop their favourite snacks. If not they are bound to get cranky, throw
a fit or lose attention. The snack should not be bad for the system.

The school can also offer a cheat’s day off, when
they include something interesting for the students to indulge in, like
chocolate cake or a dessert. That will get them thinking on the lines of eating
right.

Brisk Routine

Include physical activity without imposing too many
rules. Some children are not inclined to play sport, but they must be energised
and encouraged to do something instead of staying put. Include simple exercises
that should get them on the right track. It will also stop obesity from setting
in.

School staff should also participate in physical activities.
By doing so, kids can bond with their teachers without feeling that they are
being singled out. Evidence has proven that exercise and eating right are great
for the brain and body.

Parents and School

The school and parents must work together in
formulating healthy eating activities. Some families are vegan, some follow
religious rules, some eat out often, some prefer meat for every meal. These
important factors must be factored in a healthy eating plan.

Children tend to be pedantic about certain foods,
which may or may not be good for them. Work out a compromise with kids where
they have their cake, and eat it with certain conditions attached. They must
adhere to the rules – like finishing everything on their plates. Once that is
done they get a packet of chips (baked not fried) or chocolate. This should not
be a constant though. The school staff should follow the same set of rules.

Fun Food

Food should never be tasteless at anytime,
anywhere. Everyone wants tasty food with pep. Make food appealing, not bland.
Shake things up a bit with the range of grub available. Eating the same food
every single day is boring for anyone. The objective is to encourage good
eating habits not discourage them.

Include a smiley in the potato mash for instance or
something funny with the meat and veggies. Alternatively, go the sous chef way
and get creative. That will be the talk of the school and kids will eat better.

Eat Right at Night

Food benefit nights must be followed at home as well. Kids must be provided with the right
amounts of fun healthy food that does not sap their energy causing them to lose
interest. One rule of thumb that must be included in every home and school, is
to discourage the consumption of aerated drinks.

Emphasis should be on drinking the right amount of
water every single day. If the child wants a drink, include a fresh fruit juice
with limited sugar.

In Summary

At the end of it all, kids will be kids. There are
days when they will want something unhealthy that is natural. Adults also crave
unhealthy food for that matter! Once kids start eating right, they will not be
interested in greasy grub. However, if they still crave it, a day off, is not a
bad deal.

Bonneville Academy is a K-8 STEM school in Stansbury Park, Utah. Bonneville Academy will foster critical thinking and problem solving skills in a challenging, student-centered environment; by encouraging exploration in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Preparing students for success in our ever changing dynamic world.

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