The Dedham Public School District is committed to promoting healthy lifestyle habits, as described in their Política de bienestar. The district believes in the benefits of teaching healthy habits at a young age. On November 20th, 2023, Framingham State University student dietitian, Nicole Brooks, spent time with the 4th graders at Riverdale Elementary School. She talked about the difference between “healthy” and “unhealthy” habits, emphasizing that cutting down screen time is helpful. Most American children spend about 3 hours a day watching TV. Added together, all types of screen time can total 5 to 7 hours a day. Nicole read the book The Couch Potato by Jorey John. This book is witty and charming yet carries an important lesson about the overuse of technology and what people are missing if they get too much screen time. The moral of the story is to enjoy life in person – not on a screen!
Afterwards, students were asked a series of questions about the story to ensure that the message was understood. Questions included “How did the couch potato feel when he finally stepped foot outside?” and “What do you think YOU can do differently to balance your own screen time at home?”. Nicole also had a prize box with fruit and vegetable scratch n’ sniff stickers, erasers, and squishy toys to motivate children to participate. Lastly, students were each given a paper cube to decorate with markers and colored pencils; each side of the cube encompassing an activity that did not involve a screen. Activities that students illustrated included biking, walking their dog, baking with their parents, reading a book, learning a dance, and many more! All of the students were intrigued and excited to share activities they enjoy that don’t involve screens! If you are an educator reading this post, check out strategies to implement physical activity and healthy eating for some ideas to include in your curriculum!
You can view Dedham Public School’s menu’s here: Dedham Menu’s
Interested in offering nutrition education to your students? Check out the following resources for a variety of nutrition lessons:
- Lecciones de educación nutricional at MassSchoolWellness.org
- Lessons for Middle and High School and Lessons for Elementary students at The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition