Healthy Nutrition at School

Many children consume at least half of their meals at school, including breakfast & lunch. In addition, students celebrate birthdays and have other seasonal celebrations, & classroom celebrations, etc., throughout the school year. Food plays an important role in learning by helping to fuel the body and mind. Therefore, it's important to make the most of the fuel that we put into our bodies! Research evidence suggests beneficial effects of breakfast for on-task behavior in the classroom. We strongly encourage all of our students to eat breakfast, either at home or at school, and avoid sugary cereals, perhaps choosing foods with protein and fiber which provide a longer lasting fuel!

Breakfast & Lunch: Schools are required to serve breakfast & lunches that meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and provide minimum calorie levels, and one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and calcium. Visit the Dietary Guidelines website for more detailed information. All foods sold at school during the school day meet nutrition standards. Breakfast and Lunch Menu.

Snacks/Celebrations/Birthday Parties: It is important to provide consistent messaging around food and beverages and healthy eating throughout the school day. Promoting healthy options during meal time while allowing foods high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium at birthday parties and celebrations, sends conflicting messages to children. See below for more information on how to help our students with the best possible choices for parties & celebrations.

Triad Schools Student Nutrition Survey Results 2016-17

Promoting Healthy Snacks at School

Triad School District’s Health and Wellness Committee, along with district teachers and administrators, are sending a consistent message about the importance of eating healthy to maintain optimal health and learning. This is an integral part of helping our children succeed because healthy students are better learners. To this end, we are asking for parent support and help in creating new birthday and classroom celebration traditions that focus on healthy food & beverage options, as well as non-food items, such as an activity, or small non-food prizes. While we recognize this is a shift in traditional birthday parties and other celebrations, typically surrounded with treats, it is also an opportunity to share new and fun creative ideas!

An example: In a classroom of 25 students, there will be close to 25 celebrations of birthdays throughout the school year. While it may not seem like a lot on any given day, all of the sugar, fat, and sodium in many of the traditional treats add up! We know how important and special birthdays are, but with a little planning, they can continue to be special in a healthier way!! With classroom celebrations, it is important to plan ahead! Some ideas for healthy celebrations are listed below. And always check with the classroom teacher prior to bringing in birthday treats.

 

Snack Alternatives for Healthier Classroom Parties

First, we urge parents to contact the classroom teacher at least 2 days prior to all birthday & classroom celebrations. This will help the teacher plan for the celebration and ensure everyone's safety.  We have several students with life-threatening allergies - it's important to communicate all food items and ingredients to the teacher.  

Consider non-food items, such as:

Pencils, stickers, bookmarks, fun erasers
Inexpensive trinkets
Games or craft projects (check with teacher prior)
Guest reader (check with teacher prior)
Special Show and Tell
Ask teacher for suggestions

Consider one of the following healthy snack / beverage ideas:

100% fruit juice (check the label for “100%”)
Fresh fruit (apples with caramel dip, oranges, bananas, apples, etc.)
Fresh veggies (prepackaged)
Fat free or low fat yogurt
Canned fruit (avoid added sugar)
Frozen fruit popsicles (check label for “100% fruit”)
Whole grain pretzels
Popcorn
Graham crackers
Fat-free pudding
Whole grain cereal bars
Baked chips (small quantities)

* Make sure there is a label with all food items, listing all ingredients, to ensure students with life-threatening allergies will be safe.

Nutrition Resources

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