Your role as an educator is an important job! Providing nutrition education for staff is key to a successful school wellness program. It empowers them to teach students about healthy habits and increases their investment in making school a healthier place. Help staff make healthy choices together throughout the day for better health and to serve as healthy role models for students.
Here are some ways you can provide nutrition education to staff:
Provide healthy options at staff celebrations, meetings, and staff outings
Create a monthly newsletter that includes nutrition and physical activity tips. Include recipes and examples of healthy snacks to bring to work.
Place table tents with nutrition information in the staff lounge.
Provide healthy options in vending machines.
Invite a local vendor to provide healthy samples to staff during their prep time or lunch break.
Work with healthy vendors near your school to provide discounts or coupons to staff.
Partner with a local grocer and keep an office fruit bowl in the staff lounge or main office to encourage fruit consumption throughout the day.
Post signs about nutrition and healthy eating in the staff lounge. Post signs on a healthy eating bulletin board and maintain content regularly.
Just as staff members organize to purchase coffee, encourage employees to organize for group purchases of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks.
Provide a water cooler in the staff lounge to encourage regular water consumption.
Host healthy eating challenges like the Biggest Loser competition
Try these activities to put this nutrition education into practice:
Meatless Mondays: Ask staff to commit to not eating meat on Monday (or just one day a week). Encourage staff to focus on eating 5 fruits and vegetables, 3 servings of dairy, and making half of their grains whole that day.
Whole Grain Wednesday:Host a whole grain taste test in the staff lounge. Provide recipes that include whole grain items to try at home.
Fruity Fridays: Rotate a signup sheet for 5-6 teachers and administrators to buy fruit for the entire team. Aim to eat the rainbow and pick color themes for each week. For example, Week 1-Red; Week 2-Green; Week 3-Orange; Week 4-Yellow.
Integrate staff wellness into your school’s wellness policy.
Get staff input in all initiatives to get their buy-in. Celebrate staff members who have made healthy choices with free gym passes or special parking spots.
Create a supportive environment that understands the challenges of healthy eating.
Promote accountability for healthy eating by eating healthy together!
Recruit a creative volunteer to maintain a healthy lifestyle bulletin board.
Have a registered dietitian volunteer provide Lunch & Learn presentations to staff.
Ask a certified fitness instructor volunteer add healthy and active tips to the monthly staff newsletter.
Have a parent volunteer reach out to local businesses to donate healthy snacks.
Is your staff knowledgeable about nutrition, physical activity and district wellness policies? Consider providing annual professional development to all staff to ensure they have the right tools in their health and wellness toolbox to be effective school wellness leaders.