News You can Use: Tips for Your School Newsletter

Healthy Food Choices in Schools June 16, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

share our story School newsletters are an effective way to communicate all kinds of information to families in your school or district.  Newsletters are a great place to encourage participation in the school lunch program, highlight positive changes like those in the Smarter Lunchroom Movement, and share healthy recipe ideas.  The following are ideas for articles, quick tips, and resources that can become a regular feature of your school newsletter.

10 Easy Newsletter Article Ideas

  • Use the information at Choose My Plate to write articles or just insert some of the fact sheets directly into your newsletter.  Examples include:
  • Advertise the local farmers’ market and encourage families to attend.  Many markets accept SNAP benefits and WIC coupons.
  • Highlight a community or school garden initiative.
  • Highlight a local farm where your school gets produce.
  • Highlight your school’s wellness policy and wellness committee.
  • Highlight changes your school is making to provide easy healthy choices for everyone, including what is being served at concession stands, in vending machines, and at school celebrations.
  • Highlight healthy fundraisers the school is taking part in.   For example, instead of selling candy, perhaps you are having a fruit sale.
  • Highlight a local food guide from your area and encourage your school community to buy healthy local products.
  • Encourage parents to use some of the Smarter Lunchroom techniques being used in your cafeteria, such as displaying vegetables and fruits in an appealing easy to access way.
  • Show a picture of a healthy lunch menu item and share a recipe.

10 Newsletter Quick Tips

  • Your kids are drinking reduced fat/fat free milk at school.  Why not try it at home?
  • Our menu is featuring broccoli this month.  Try serving it at home too.
  • We are challenging all of our students to get at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits every day next week.  Challenge everyone in your family to do the same.
  • Make time to join your child for lunch in the school cafeteria.
  • When your child gets home from school, ask what he/she ate for lunch.
  • Eat meals with your child as often as you can. Let your child see you eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains at meals and snacks.
  • Grocery shopping can teach your children about healthy eating. Talk to them about where vegetables, fruits and grains, milk, and meat come from. Let your children help you make healthy choices at the store.
  • Try new foods yourself. Describe how they smell, feel and taste. Offer one new food at a time to your children. Try pairing something your child likes with the new food.
  • Well- nourished kids are ready to learn and research shows they do better in class. When we give kids plenty of healthy food choices and regular physical activity, they learn healthier habits for life.
  •  Highlight one of the key messages from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines
    • Find your healthy eating style and maintain it for a lifetime. Everything you eat and drink over time matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future.
    • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables — vary your veggies
    • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables — focus on whole fruits.
    • Make half your grains whole grains.
    • Move to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt
    • Vary your protein routine
    • Use oils like canola, olive, and others instead of solid fats (like butter and stick margarine, shortening, lard, and coconut oil).
    • Drink and eat less sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars.

Contact your local Cooperative Extension Office about nutrition education opportunities available for your school!  They may have recipes and articles ready for printing in your next newsletter.


Contributor

Amanda Rae Root, Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County 

Sources      

www.choosemyplate.gov

www.letsmove.gov

www.farmtoschool.org

http://www.fns.usda.gov/team-nutrition

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.