A Student Nutrition Action Committee (SNAC) is a great way for you to make your schools healthier by influencing students to make healthier food choices in and outside of school. Spread healthy nutrition messages by hosting or participating in events that can inspire your school community to make more nutritious choices. In some cases, you can simultaneously raise awareness of healthier foods and raise funds for your SNAC. Here are ideas for events and activities your SNAC can sponsor and support:
Set up a weekly booth in the lunchroom. With the permission of your principal and food service staff, set up a booth in your lunchroom that offers healthy snacks and information to raise awareness about why it is important to make the healthy choice. This will ensure that your peers will be able to find fun, delicious snacks during lunchtime AND encourage healthy choices at other times in their day. This can act as a fundraiser for your club as well.
Organize a field trip or meet-up at the Farmers’ Market. Farmer’s Markets are a great place to find fresh, nutritious foods while also supporting the local community. Explore whether your school would be willing to sponsor a field trip to the local Farmers’ Market – or even host a Farmers’ Market at your school! If not, get a group of students together to meet up regularly at your local Farmer’s Market and post announcements and picture on social media —knowing that other students will be there may encourage other peers to go for the first time!
Host a Healthy Cooking Night. Do you love to cook? Show students how easy it is to make healthful meals and snacks by planning a healthful cooking night. Consider inviting parents as well. Discuss with your advisor what meals you would be able to make after school (consider if you’ll be allowed to use ovens, for example). Want to raise some money? Offer your classes at on a sliding scale.
Show a nutrition documentary. Using your school’s auditorium after school, pick an interesting or controversial movie that discusses proper nutrition (i.e. Supersize Me, Food, Inc., or Weight of the Nation). Show this movie for free and sell healthy snacks, or offer suggested donation scale for attendees so that you can use this event as a fundraiser. Ask teachers if they would be willing to offer extra credit to students who attend the movie night to encourage attendance. For ideas of what documentaries to watch, look here.
Tisa Hill and Julie Apuzzo, Cornell University Division of Nutritional Sciences
For More Information
For an example of a Student Nutrition Action Committee in action, see SUNY Potsdam’s SNAC here