In New Orleans, ReThinkers give schools Food Report Cards that beg the question: does healthy schools mean healthy bodies? Across the nation, cuts to recess and physical education in the schools point to the answer being “no.” Those who we let run and play are the “children” in headstart, preschool and elementary. However, a healthy diet not only aids the function of the body to cause havoc on teachers assigned to babysit recess but also the brain. Both food and exercise during the school day contribute dynamically to the learning environment of schools.
Access to fresh fruit and salad and freshly prepared meals can make a big difference to student performance. These are just as appealing if not more so appealing than the junk food and soda vending machines and sugary, greasy food some school cafeterias serve that make students crash and fall asleep or bounce off the walls from too much energy. A healthy school can mean healthy food that provides sustained energy to students to concentrate on work and engagement in classroom dialogue.
To support this endeavor a resource in Michigan is the Building Healthy Communities Program. “On behalf of the Building Healthy Communities partnership, the Wayne State University Center for School Health is now accepting applications from Michigan elementary schools to undergo a “Healthy School Transformation” during the 2014-2015 school year. ” Look into the program to see how your school can receive support to exercise a healthy classroom.