Talk to Your Child's Educators
As parents, many of us depend on others to “raise” our children while we are hard at work. Keeping our kids healthy must be a collaborative effort between teachers, schools, grandparents, family members and others who help care for our children. Being consistent in both the home and school environments is important to help our children develop healthy eating habits and healthy attitudes toward making good choices.
Parents may be unaware of what their child is eating and drinking on daily basis for breakfast and lunch, and perhaps may not have asked if their child's school delivers curriculum or lessons about nutrition and its impact on health. Schools and teachers have the opportunity and responsibility to positively or negatively influence our children. How does your child's school contribute to providing healthy food options and nutritional education? Use the following questions as a guide to help you communicate with your child’s educators.
- What is your school’s policy on juice? Are you providing juice? What kind? When and how much? For both snacks and meals?
- What is your school’s/classroom’s snack or party policy? What are the “rules” for treats brought by parents or volunteers?
- Do you encourage students to drink water?
- What types of morning and afternoon snacks are provided?
- Who determines the school lunch menu and process?
- Is the menu is posted online? If so, you and your child can look at the menu ahead of time and make decisions regarding which days to consider bringing a lunch.
- Do you allow vending machines that sell soda as well as other highly processed and sugary snacks?
- How much money would need to be raised to offset budgetary needs and eliminate vending machines that sell soda?
- What is the education curriculum for nutrition and self-care? When do children learn about nutrition and health and to what extent? Who teaches it? Does the curriculum include teaching students how to read nutrition fact labels?
- What sports and activities do children do during physical education? What team sports or other activities are offered after school?