Healthy, but Yummy!

You may have noticed a large push
for healthy foods in our schools lately. I know in my district we are no longer able to serve anything sweet and
have been mandated limits on what kids can eat while with us during the day (of
course we know that schools are the cause of obesity in the first place). This is something all teachers will soon have
to deal with. 

 I’d like to
start a little forum where we can share suggestions on how to keep our students
healthy and/or replace some of the treats they formerly ate with wise
alternatives. Healthier Generation has
some good suggestions, but I think DEN members will have some great ideas to
share with each other as well. Let’s put
our ideas in the form of comments at the bottom of this posting.

 Here are some questions to think about: What sort of non-food rewards can we give
students? What are some SIMPLE, but
healthy snacks kids can bring from home? What can we do in elementary grades to “celebrate” the birthday’s kids
look forward to? Anything else?      The best answer wins a stick of sugar coated butter!!!      Dave Kootman


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  1. Sarah Johangiry said:

    My district has began to enforce the new regulations. For Valentine’s Day I tried to come up with a creative way to replace the usual sugar fest during our card exchange celebration. I had the kids make peanut butter and sugar free jam sandwiches. The children followed the recipe that they had written a few weeks earlier. They then used a heart cookie cutter to cut out their sandwiches and washed them down with 100% juice boxes. The children had a great time and enjoyed their healthy snack:)

    As for prizes, I use pencils, smelly stickers, and bookmarks. The kids love it.

    I would love to hear how others are dealing with this.

  2. Teryl Magee said:

    We are dealing with the same thing in Tennessee, at least in Knox County. The school is no longer allowed to serve any high fat or sugar loaded foods. For snacks and parties we have had trail mix, fruit, sugar free jello with fat free whipped topping, and other options liked baked chips for a treat.

    As for prizes, I like to use the “ticket” system. Kids earn tickets for good behavior or participation in class. At the end of the week they trade in their tickets for prizes ranging from 10 tickets up to 500 tickets. The system also encourages my kids to save their “money.”

  3. Patricia A. Hawkenson said:

    I work with a teacher who rewards students with a “Bragging Rights Parade!” When his class does something worth bragging about he leads the entire class in a short parade up and down the halls of school chanting their latest glorious efforts. Ex: Our class won the Spelling Bee… don’t you wish you were me!” Some students play their band instruments and others might hold quickly made signs. The parade is short but the smiles are HUGE!

  4. Nancy Keck said:

    Last year, I incorporated a school garden with a site called Harvest of the Month… This site features a vegetable or fruit each month. There are lesson plans for all subject areas, a parent newsletter, recipes, puzzles, etc. Kids loved the project and began eating healthier foods by the end of the year.

  5. Sarah Johangiry said:

    A very cool idea Nancy! I will check out the site for sure!

  6. Orville Bigelow said:

    Just by chance I happened upon your forum and wanted to let you know about some great resources. To help supplement the Harvest of the Month program, school districts here in California created many great resources. We brought them together on the Los Angeles Collaborative for Healthy Active Children website at (this website is part of the Los Angeles County Public Health Nutrition Program). You will see a Harvest of the Month icon on the menu bar to the left. Click on it and it will take you to the resource page. I am constantly updating the website with new materials as they are made available to me. You may want to also check out the SHAPE resources developed by our partner school districts. For those resources, just click on the SHAPE icon…
    Orville Bigelow, MS, RD

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