One of the biggest problems with schools, in relation to food, is the unorganized nature of school dinners. A large part of the blame can be put there, followed by the relative cheapness of ‘less healthy’ foods. With the rise of Diabetes and obesity amongst young people, our government faces a nutrition crisis like never seen before. Our problem is across the board. Not just at home or in school, but outside of school. The popularity of fast food restaurants is also contributing to the epidemic of food related health issues. That said, if we are to encourage change and new trends, we must bring attention to diet, starting with our children.
In recent years, however, government attitude to this has changed drastically. With the help of a number of celebrity chefs, who brought attention to the issue, our politicians drafted some fantastic guidelines for school authorities to implement. This included a nutrition curriculum and two main initiatives ‘Let’s move’ and ‘Grab 5’. How do we channel a child’s interest in this topic? In the future, our children will be in charge of their own food consumption. It is therefore important we engage with them properly regarding this matter.
Here are three innovative and interactive ways to promote healthy eating at school:
The Parent/Teacher Cooperation
Parents love to be made aware and feel included in the school’s ideas. A fantastic movement that is taking off across the UK, are parent/teacher committee meetings. These are devoted to discussing general issues, but make a perfect platform to discuss and encourage the school’s shift to a healthier eating plan. From nutrition curriculums to the schools budget for dinners, parents can be an enabling part of the process. This is their child after all. Statistics also reflect the notion that a parent, who has been involved in their child’s school curriculum program, is more likely to refine their meals at home.
It’s time to think about ways to directly engage in positive encouragement of healthy eating with the children themselves. A cookery club can be used to build this. In fact some schools have gone so far as to make a cookery club a part of the child’s week, rather than an optional extra-curricular activity. How can this impact innovatively? This type of interactivity allows a child to take possession of their own creativity. It plants the seeds for change, directing perception of healthy food from an early age.
The School Vegetable Patch
There are few things more rewarding than consuming your own produce. The school garden will provide opportunity for the learning and growing of good foods. From tomatoes to lettuce and onions, they’re all simple to grow, and represent an excellent opportunity to teach children the importance of good nutrition. Then, should the chance come, the children can enjoy their fresh produce once it’s grown! In turn, they will see the complete full circle benefit. We can show our children that healthy food isn’t boring food, it can be exciting too!