Our nation’s kids are in school for more than 1,000 hours a year.
And it’s within our power as a parent, as a school employee, as a nation, to make sure those hours are building healthy habits in our kids that make them healthy now and keep them healthy for a lifetime.
Healthy Kids Learn Better
It’s been proven. The better kids eat and the more active they are, they better they perform in the classroom. For instance students who participate in recommended amounts of physical activity miss less school and students who eat breakfast at school perform better academically and behave better.
Our evidence-based approach to school wellness, the Healthy Schools Program, lays out the steps to not only get students eating healthy but to teach them why they’re eating healthy; to get students active but also show them how to stay active for a lifetime; and to get teachers to teach health while staying healthy themselves.
Nutrition on Campus
Children are making choices about food all throughout the school day. Twenty percent of students eat breakfast, forty percent have snack, and ninety percent eat lunch at school.
And then there are fundraisers, vending machines, and parties. It’s not only about limiting food choices at school. It’s about making the healthy choice the easy choice on campus.
Physical Activity in School
Active kids perform better on tests and behave better in class. And more importantly, daily physical activity is essential to help kids improve their health now and create active lifestyles for their futures.
Luckily, physical activity comes in many forms: physical education (PE) class, recess, active learning, and fitness breaks to name a few. This means schools can get students moving more in different ways even within the time constraints of a school day.
During the school day, teachers, principals, and school staff across the country teach our kids and prepare our next generation to live productive lives. So school employee health matters and can directly affect our students.
Because healthy employees are more motivated to teach about health and serve as role models for students on campus, an effective employee wellness program can help foster a culture of nutrition and fitness on campus.