School Nutrition Program Revisions

Memo to Teachers

Dear Teachers,

This year marks a new path for Suburban Elementary School. With the birth of the Municipal School District, we, the proud faculty and staff of SES, have the power to create a newer, better, more effective school.

This year, with Principal William's support, I am happy to lead the new School Nutrition Program at SES. My hope is that this system will prove to be a positive pilot program which can be implemented across all other schools in Municipal School District. The goal of the new School Nutrition Program will be to encourage, promote, and educate students on the importance of healthy eating habits, the cycle of farm --> food --> table, and how to incorporate healthier foods in our diets. Changes in the school cafeteria will include in-house cooking of foods, a revised menu for breakfast and lunch (with several meals a week based on parent-submitted recipes), the infusion of nutrition in guidance lessons, and the creation of a community garden.

So how does this affect YOU, the teachers of SES? In order to further encourage healthier eating, the School Nutrition Program Committee asks the following of the teachers and staff during the school year:

  1. Eliminate unhealthy incentives. Instead of candy or treats in a treasure box, have alternative incentives like homework passes, "question skip" options on quizzes or tests, $1 gift certificates to the school bookstore, or Happy Postcard sent home each week.
  2. On a classroom level, instead of sundae or popcorn parties, incentives that can be offered might include: outside lunch, extended recess time, five minutes of "dance party" time, free choice seating day, or class extra credit.
  3. When writing lesson plans, please use healthy fruits and vegetables for examples (i.e. "grapefruit graphs" instead of pie graphs, apples instead of cookies, etc.). Let's call this subliminal messaging!

In an added enhancement to the classroom curriculum, Principal Williams wishes to add a nutrition lesson to each grade. Therefore, on a day of your choosing, I propose the following lessons with your students be dually-taught by you and myself:

  • Kindergarten and First: Letters Tracing (with healthy foods to practice), Fill in Sentences Worksheets (with healthy word options), Draw a Healthy Refrigerator (during Art);
  • Second and Third Computer and Science: "Sometimes Foods" Lesson and Online Chef Game (aids in computer skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving)
  • Fourth and Fifth Math and Language Arts: Cooking (using math to calculate ingredients with math problems and writing recipes for personal creation)
  • All Science Classes: Planning and creating a community garden
  • All Grades Take-Home Folders: Invitations to Parents to submit recipes for cafeteria use (invites will be given at first faculty meeting this year)

Finally, during the first Professional Development and faculty meeting, we will discuss the changes in the cafeteria layout and hot food lines. We will also sample and view some of the new food options available for our students (and us!) to enjoy this upcoming school year.

"In Good Health"

Kimberly B. (SES Professional School Counselor)