Needham Public Schools is committed to promoting the health and wellness of their students. Their wellness policy states they are committed to providing physical activity, physical education, health education, and nutrition promotion and education. Needham Public Schools integrates nutrition education into the school curriculum. They also promote nutrition education in the school meal programs by providing healthy meals and emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. For students or parents interested, the school nutrition website has a wellness section that provides information on both nutrition and fitness.
On Monday, March 28th, Framingham State graduate student Ethan Okunas and his partner Cindi Powell started working on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in kindergarten children by creating a bingo board with 25 fruits and vegetables. During each lunch period for four weeks, a sticker was given out for every new fruit and vegetable that the students tried. The objective was to get as many stickers as possible. This activity led the kindergarteners to try many new fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are beneficial for health and consuming a variety, in as many different colors as possible, provides many important vitamins and minerals not found in other foods.
Check out the Cafeteria as a Learning Space resource on the SWITCH website for more information on how to introduce new foods and implement nutrition education and promotion in the cafeteria.
Submitted by: Ethan Okunas, FSU Food and Nutrition Graduate Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.