Schools across the nation are reinforcing messages behind federal guidelines for school food and school wellness in creative ways, increasing the likelihood that children eat healthfully and are physically active each day. Interested in helping your school maximize opportunities to deliver healthy eating and activity messages? A new school year is here, and Team Nutrition’s Popular Events booklet can help.
This booklet should be useful whether your school already has an active events calendar or whether no nutrition and physical activity events are currently planned. Included are instructions for 20 nutrition and physical activity events in elementary and/or middle schools. Anyone can lead events: administration, wellness committees, food service staff, teachers, school health staff, parents or a parent organization, or other community volunteers. In addition to supporting school wellness goals, events can increase dialogue among school stakeholders and help connect families, staff, and the community in efforts to raise awareness and promote health.
Each event includes a description designed to guide readers from planning to implementation. Descriptions include objectives that can help leaders choose an event that aligns with school wellness goals. Also included are event details, planning instructions, ideas about involving others in order to create strength and shared ownership, and real world examples of events from Team Nutrition schools. The “Events at a Glance” guide helps identify the focus, cost, and effort required for events. The “Events through the Year” overview provides guidance for yearlong planning by aligning events with national observances. For example, September is National Hispanic Heritage month, and included in the booklet is the “Healthy Food Heritages” event designed to help middle school students learn about food traditions from diverse cultures.
Interested in more opportunities? Schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program are eligible to enroll as a Team Nutrition School! Joining is free and will provide your school with the opportunity to collaborate with other Team Nutrition Schools. By joining you will receive materials and services from Team Nutrition: training and technical assistance, nutrition education, and school and community support, curricula, posters, handouts, and other resources.
Shirley Vouris, RD, LDN, Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion
Alisha Gaines, PhD, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
USDA Food and Nutrition Services. Team Nutrition Popular Events Idea Booklet.