Andover Public Schools is a leader in their health education. The food service department and teachers work hard to ensure students are provided nutrition education to help them carry healthy habits outside of the classroom. It is part of the goal of the Andover School wellness policy to gear health education toward personal behaviors and habits, to resist peer and wider pressures to make unhealthy choices, and to emphasize learning and practicing skills students need for healthy living.
In making these wellness policy goals a reality, Andover has partnered with Framingham State University and their Coordinated Program in Dietetics to provide nutrition education to their students.
Student dietitian Taelyr Hair taught high school students at Andover the art of eating mindfully by using all five senses to enjoy food, practice healthy skills, and work on their personal habits and behaviors. Many students identified issues with overeating while playing on their phone or watching TV. Most of the students had never heard of mindful eating, and this new way of thinking about their food surprised them. Students participated in an activity in which they had to mindfully eat a snack food and report descriptions for each of their five senses when experiencing the snack. By the end of the lesson, all of the students had come up with multiple descriptions for each of their senses and expressed that they liked the idea of putting more focus on their food experiences, and slowing down while eating.
To explore more resources on mindful eating and other interesting lesson plans to implement in your school, please visit The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition resource center.
Submitted by: Taelyr Hair FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics.