February 27, 2017
You’re invited! Mark your calendars and sign up for an inspiring March 7th webinar, Making Healthy Eating a Habit… Anywhere Kids Live, Learn, Work and Play. This one hour webinar will be presented by Vickie L. James, Registered, Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist and the creator of the award winning Healthy Kids Challenge, now an integral part of School Specialty and SPARK programs. There is no cost.
Please join us to get some simple tips and ideas for integrating nutrition education into kids’ daily world. From classroom to PE, after school and community youth programs, you’ll find SPARK nutrition education resources your “go to” guide for healthy eating for kids!
- Understand the value and need for nutrition education for kids.
- Discover simple ways to implement nutrition education into existing curriculum and youth programs.
- Learn “edu-tainment” tips to make nutrition education fun for kids.
- Discover how Healthy Kids Challenge nutrition education materials available through SPARK can be a valuable guide for your teaching needs.
Learn how you can be part of the healthy solution team for child nutrition!
Highlights include answers to questions like:
- WHERE and HOW do I teach nutrition education?
- Where can nutrition education find a home? How to deal with the time, tools and other issues.
- Are you equipped? Understanding quick, simple ways to teach nutrition education in an integrated approach throughout the school day, or in youth programs.
When: Tuesday, March 7th, at 5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern *Note the special time at 5pm Pacific*
Who: Grades K-8 classroom teachers and administrators, PE specialists, health and science teachers, school food service managers, school wellness council members and after school, summer camp, and youth program teachers and staff.
Duration: 60 Minutes
March 18, 2016
After almost 20 years of being a leading nonprofit dedicated to developing leaders and environments that help kids and families eat healthy and move more, we are passing the baton to our partners, SPARK and School Specialty (Sportime). This change will help ensure and enhance the viability and vitality of the same quality, research-based nutrition education resources and services for years to come. See the full press release for MORE information.
February 19, 2016
National School Breakfast Week starts on March 7th. This year’s theme is Wake Up to School Breakfast. Please share this photo and help us spread the word! https://schoolnutrition.org/nsbw/
February 12, 2016
Help kids connect the happiness of special celebrations with healthy choices.
Popcorn. Low-fat and sprinkle with seasoning.
Parfaits. Low fat yogurt or pudding, fruit, and granola.
Frozen yogurt popsicles. Blenderize low-fat fruited yogurt, berry juice and berries and freeze.
Mini-bagel pizzas. Whole grain bagels halves, pizza sauce, part-skim mozzarella cheese.
Mini waffles. Whole grain frozen waffles, low-fat cream cheese, fruit.
Trail mix. Whole grain low sugar cereals, nuts, seeds, dried fruit.
Fruit kabobs. Alternate seasonal or favorite colors and shapes.
Raw veggies with dip. Different colors, shapes and sizes add appeal.
Chips and salsa. Whole grain chips with veggie or fruit salsa.
Refreshing, ice cold water
Fruit infused water
Sparkling water with a splash of 100% fruit juice
Veggie Taste Testing Fun: Provide familiar raw veggies such as celery, carrot and green pepper sticks, but then provide some unique veggie samples to taste test and rate like sweet potato, jicama, Chinese cabbage, turnips and rhubarb.
Fruit Taste Testing Fun: Provide familiar fresh apple, orange and banana slices, but also include unique fruits like mango, pineapple, berries and star fruit. (Optional: Include dried fruit samples like apricots, cranberries, prunes, and cherries.)
Build your own trail mix: Offer choices of low sugar, whole-grain cereals, seeds or nuts, dried fruits and snack crackers. Kids scoop appropriate serving sizes of their choices into individual plastic baggies.
January 17, 2016
Go ahead and Take Healthy Action by teaching Breakfast GO Power messaging with multiple ideas and activities to drive the message home!
Have kids create a list of favorite healthy breakfast foods. Challenge them to make breakfast a daily habit! Use the Explore MyPlate Teaching Cards to jump start their lists and teach about breakfast foods in the different food groups.
Promote breakfast as a good way to start every day, not just during testing days! Have kids find facts online supporting breakfast every day, make a poster, and line the hallways with their promotions.
Our Wednesday WOWS newsletter has ideas every week!
Build Skills in the Classroom
Have kids create healthy breakfast menus including 3 MyPlate food groups or use our breakfast Classroom & Afterschool Activity “Shape Up My Day with Breakfast for GO Power“. Challenge kids to share these ideas with their parents.
Many more easy and flexible ideas can be found in the Balance My Day nutrition curriculum for grades K-8.
Change the Environment
Try out “grab-and-go” breakfast at school. Create appeal by marketing with signs everywhere. Have classes draw “Breakfast GO Power” messages; also present “Breakfast GO Power” commercials to another class.
Cook-up Cafeteria Excitement
Invite local celebrities to school breakfast, and as a bonus have a student reporter or class cover the event as a “media” story.
Create a plan with PTA to host a “Serving up MyPlate” breakfast as a way to give everyone a boost during testing weeks. For example, blend up smoothies and combine with a “build a breakfast trail mix” using whole grain cereal, pumpkin seeds, raisins, and nuts.
Connect with Families
Help Kids Fix Their Own Breakfast – Use this handout in the classroom and then send it home to families.
Take the Challenge – Take Healthy Action…Bite into Breakfast for Good Health
January 8, 2016
January is always a good time for a “Healthy Balance Check”. Start the year with a clean slate on the path to healthy habits. Have a MyPlate poster handy to discuss and have kids visualize healthy balance with eating choices. Also point out what isn’t found on MyPlate such as high sugar foods and beverages (soft drinks, syrups, candy, cookies, cakes, pastries).
Hear – See – Do Activities
- Have kids check current eating habits. Draw MyPlate on a paper plate. For each meal think about whether or not there is good balance with all food groups. One simple reminder for each meal is to fill half our plates with fruits and veggies.
- Because an important part of healthy balance is balancing food (energy in) with active play (energy out), on the back of the paper plate have kids write the activities and number of times they do them each week.
- Ask kids to set an easy to reach healthy goal. For example, one more fruit or veggie choice or one less soft drink each day.
December 11, 2015
If it’s been a while since you’ve addressed nutrition in your classroom, use this activity to bring healthy eating back in focus with the kids you lead.
Adapted from Balance My Day™ nutrition curriculum, Grades 3-5, Lesson 2
Explain that healthy eating means choosing a healthy plate (food from all 5 MyPlate food groups: Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Dairy, Protein) with less of those foods high in fat and added sugar.
Divide kids into teams and give each team 10 or more food cards or magazine pictures (representing a variety of food groups).
Ask the teams to use the cards/pictures to create a meal that has all 5 MyPlate food groups. Provide the MyPlate poster for kids to view.
Ask each team to present the meal they created and explain the ease or difficulty of choosing a meal with foods from all 5 food groups.
Encourage kids to think about and try to eat a variety of foods from the 5 food groups at their meals.