A message from Danielle Pashko- our School Nutritionist:
For many of you it’s a challenge to get your children to eat healthy. It’s likely that pizza, French fries,pasta, and cereal will be first choice over any other food. A serving of broccoli will never stand up to a side of noodles. You know that children’s food selections are not always healthy, but you figure it’s better than having them go hungry.
Starches and carbohydrates are important for growing bodies. It’s just important to offer a healthy variety from good sources. Quinoa, millet, rice, squash, yams, oats, corn on the cob, beans and lentils provide plenty of nutrition and are additionally gluten free.
Get used to including fruits or vegetables in each meal- which are high in fiber and antioxidants. Offer salad, spinach, asparagus, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, kale, or cauliflower as a compliment to any dish.
Don’t be afraid to cook with olive oil for flavor. Kids can benefit from the additional fat. At breakfast time- incorporate more berries, bananas, melon or chopped fruit. It goes great with cereal, oatmeal, whole grain waffles or even eggs.
If your child is truly unwilling to eat fruit or vegetables, you can always try making a smoothie. The internet is a great resource for recipes that taste delicious and will appeal to even the most finicky eaters. For added protein and calcium, blend tofu or Greek yogurt .
There is always a solution to approaching proper nutrition. Keep in mind that a balanced diet essential to driving performance in school.
Wellness Policy on Physical Activity and Nutrition
Understanding that children need access to healthful food and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive; our school is dedicated to providing an environment that promotes and protects student’s health, well being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating, nutrition education, and physical activity.
In understanding this mission by setting forth and implementing a school wellness policy for our school, we hope to help prevent childhood obesity. Obesity rates have doubled in children, and tripled in adolescents over the last two decades.
Heart disease, cancer, stoke, and diabetes, are responsible for two-thirds of deaths in the United States, and since major risk factors for those diseases, including unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and obesity are often established in childhood, our school would like to promote nutrition education.
To achieve these goals our school will make sure that meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:
- Be appealing and attractive to children
- Be served in clean and pleasant settings
- Meet, at minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal regulations
- Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables
- Offer low-fat and/or fat-free milk
- Encourage use of whole grain
- Assure that students are given adequate time for eating and served in a pleasant atmosphere
Our school will encourage staff development and training of pertinent food service staff, teachers, and parents in child nutrition in order to effectively deliver quality nutrition education to the students.
To ensure that the school models good nutrition choices, healthy foods will be highlighted at school functions, celebrations, and class parties.
The school will involve the Parents Association in regard to setting forth a policy of children bringing healthy snacks to school.
The school will encourage teachers not to use foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet nutrition standards as rewards for academic performance or good behavior. Non-food alternatives such as toys, starts, and little trinkets could be used.
Nutrition information will be taught formally in classrooms and informally in the lunchroom to order to educate students and assist their development of making healthy food choices for meals and snacks.
Early Childhood snacks served during the day or in the after school care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to student’s diet and health. Grades parents are strongly encourage to provide healthy snacks for their children.
The school will continue to be a smoke free environment.
Fresh drinking water will be available to all students and staff.
Physical Fitness Goals
Recognizing that physical fitness is an integral component to a child’s well being, the school shall adopt and implement a health and fitness curriculum. This curriculum will provide opportunities for developmentally appropriate instruction for all grades.
The school will provide daily recess periods for elementary school students featuring time for unstructured but supervised active play for at least 20 minutes daily.
Teachers will not use physical activity or withhold opportunities (e.g. running laps) for physical activity (e.g. recess) as punishment.
If operating an after school program, the program coordinator will include some form of physical activity on a regular basis.
Implementation and Monitoring
To help with the initial development of the school’s wellness policy, our school building will conduct a baseline assessment of the school’s existing nutrition and physical activity policies. The results will be compiled and used to identify and prioritize needs.
Assessments will be repeated every three years to review policy compliance, assess progress and determine areas in need of improvement. If needed, the wellness policy will be updated, and fine tuned to facilitate better implementation.
The principal/administrator will oversee policy compliance for physical education and activity.
The School Food Service administrator will oversee the nutritional component of the policy for compliance.
Parents will continue to be encouraged to assist the children with healthy food choices at home and encouraged to make sure their child partakes in physical activity.