Last Season's Plays

How Many Can You ...?

Hold contests to see which classroom or grade level can eat the recommended number of servings of nutrient-rich foods from the food groups including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy foods and lean protein foods every day for a month. Highlight the food of the month and give classroom rewards for those who “win” or all who reach their goal.

  • Work with a team of students and teachers (who can encourage students on a daily basis) and the school nutrition manager, health teachers and school nurse (who can provide nutritional information).
  • Distribute informational handouts to students about healthy eating guidelines, and how many servings of each food group are recommended. Post nutritional guidelines in the school newsletter and on posters throughout the school and in classrooms.
  • Obtain prizes and rewards from the community.
  • Advertise the contests to everyone by putting up posters in high-traffic areas, making PA announcements and distributing flyers. During the contest, be sure to post updates on students’ progress and which classrooms or grade levels are making progress.  

Everyone Can:

  • Work with a team to plan the contest
  • Prepare and distribute handouts
  • Obtain contest prizes and rewards
  • Advertise the contest to students
Education about healthy eating choices is only half the battle. Our H. team (health team composed of 12 students from the 4th, 5th and 6th grades) promoted healthy eating choices with educational morning announcements, handing out bookmarks with information about fruit and vegetable benefits to students at lunch. At our school, we also used a program to reward healthy eating choices at school and at home. Students would keep track of fruits and vegetables eaten per day and servings of dairy, receiving points for each of these. Points could also be earned for exercise, watching less than 1 hour of TV/video games and avoiding pop or candy. A sheet of ten days of recording was then signed by the parent and turned in to the PE teacher who rewarded the Rushton mover with colorful beads and "toes" for the exercise part. Students accumulated beads (put on a shoestring for display) by turning in more mover sheets. At the beginning of the year, there were 32 Rushton movers from all of last year. As of April, there are 135 Rushton movers (have turned in 1 or more sheets). There has been a contest all year to see which grade level can have the highest percentage of Rushton movers.
I teach all of my classes about the Food Pyramid and how important it is to follow the guidelines. My students are asked to go grocery shopping with their parents to help out in all the family food choices.


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