Recently we went searching for what the absolute best of the best Teachers and Educators are doing. And here's what we found ...
Successful Teachers have a SENSE OF PURPOSE. They're able to see the BIG picture of how their teaching can positively impact their students' lives. It's understanding that the little things we do NOW can make a BIG difference in kids' lives LATER.
And, this 'sense of purpose' is what inspired us to develop the Eat Smart B Active® program, especially for Teachers and Educators to engage children in their learning and improve their health literacy. We were incredibly proud when Eat Smart B Active® was chosen from innovations from 74 countries across the globe, and then have our program awarded as a highly commended innovation for the Global Launch Food Innovation Showcase, - an International initiative of the Australian Government, U.S Aid, Nike and NASA to improve health outcomes by educating people to make healthy food choices.
In this article, we’ll share FIVE ways you can transfer children's nutritional knowledge to actually making healthier food choices to help optimise their learning, behaviour and wellbeing.
Schools, kindergartens and early learning centres play an important role in supporting children’s health, and while it's mandatory to embed Food and Nutrition in early childhood settings and forms part of the requirements of the Health Curriculum and learning framework, children’s ‘knowledge’ doesn’t always transfer to them actually making healthy food choices.
Appreciating that children have many influences, including families, peers, Teachers, Educators, School and community, it is important that children are able to transfer their knowledge of making healthy choices to real life experiences.
When we first developed the Eat Smart B Active® program, it was following observation of kids' school lunchboxes packed with highly processed, packaged foods, with little nutritional value. Further research informed us of the immediate negative impact poor diet plays in students' learning, behaviour and inability to concentrate, not to mention the long-term negative consequences such as increased risk of developing chronic diseases.
Here we’d like to share FIVE ways you can embed healthy food choices in your classroom to support children's learning, behaviour and wellbeing:
- Establish healthy eating and physical activity as a ‘norm’ in your classroom / centre.
- Model your own nutritious lunchbox.
- Include daily ‘fruit and vegie’ breaks and movement breaks.
- Partner with families and community members in the implementation of healthy eating and physical activity policies, practices, and evidence-based programs.
- Promote healthy lunchbox ideas for families.
The Eat Smart B Active® program is an evidence-based program that supports Teachers and Educators to better engage children in the delivery of the Health Curriculum focus areas of Food & Nutrition (FN) and Health Benefits of Physical Activity (HBPA). A scientific study for the Eat Smart B Active® program implemented by researchers at the University of Queensland, and published in the International peer-reviewed Paediatrics Journal - Children, reported statistically significant improvements in school children’s nutritional knowledge, attitude, and behaviours, along with the doubling of vegetables and reduction of sometimes foods packed in children’s lunchboxes.
You can learn more about the Eat Smart B Active® program here
So, what's your sense of purpose? ... Wishing you every success in the classroom.
David and Selina - BA (Psych) DipEd
Co-Founders - Eat Smart B Active® | Educators