Middle School Students Encouraged to Eat Fruit Instead of JUNK Food
Their lunch might be chock full of junk, but middle school students are being encouraged to chow down on fruit instead of carrots to lower their weight.
Photo courtesy: most inspirational story
Recess, an elementary school educational hour during the school day, is always one of the more popular parts of the school day. Middle school students, of course, are preparing for higher levels of academics and the task of filling their stomachs will naturally involve more junk food.
So, how do you design that environment that will not only keep kids healthy and active, but also make them feel like they are being smart?
Photo courtesy of MindShift
We recently interviewed (you can see the video at the bottom of this page) Sadie Zwanebu of North Carolina, a mother of a middle schooler, where all kids eat full meals and lots of fruits and vegetables. North Carolina is one of the first states to get the nutritional guidelines for nutrition for all students.
With that information, Zwanebu designed the school’s exercise and nutrition fair and created a program called, The Mind Shift Play and Eat Smart Lunch. Kids could choose from just about every type of lunch at the fair and also not have their lunches judged by the teacher. This means that it’s guaranteed a piece of any fruit or vegetable is going to be their first choice.
“The teachers see that they are eating healthy and engaged in the school while also learning,” says Zwanebu. It motivates them to maintain the same good habits throughout the entire school year and not rely on processed junk. “They truly can’t fall short on the healthy plate,” says Zwanebu.
With this knowledge of incorporating healthier diets, lunchrooms are designed to keep their refreshments healthy. The teacher-run lunchroom program is coordinated to serve the healthiest lunches in the school. Lunchrooms can add fruit, milk, and vegetables to every tray or simply plan for healthy extra items that don’t have to be made from scratch like kale salad and pulled-pork sandwiches.
It is not uncommon for middle schoolers to eat so much junk food that it can get pretty gross. This is partially because most foods require more attention than they should. With teachers playing as the pack leader, there’s less chatter and much more focus on the fun exercise and tasty food. Plus, the students’ healthy outlook allows them to focus on academic work in a different and more positive way.
Children are what they eat. But what kind of food? One way to increase their enjoyment of foods is by swapping out all the junk with more nutritious eats. Also, the healthy foods are prepared with ingredients that have high nutritional value.
Photo courtesy of MindShift
Do you think your kid is ready for lunch? Perhaps you can share with them the Mind Shift Play and Eat Smart Lunch idea and find out for yourself.