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Nutrition Promotion

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Overview

School Poster of Vegetables & FruitsTake a look around your school building. How does your school promote good nutrition? Do you have posters hanging on the walls that display healthy eating messages? Do you have a monthly healthy bulletin board? Do you communicate good nutrition during the morning announcements? Nutrition promotion can take place across the school, formally and informally, inside and outside of the classroom ─ in the cafeteria, in the hallway and at school events. It’s a great way to complement structured nutrition education occuring in the classroom.

Take Action

Nutrition promotion should happen in multiple settings throughout the school building. Reinforce nutrition messages to students by using these strategies:

  • Hang posters in classrooms, hallways, the office and the cafeteria that promote healthy eating. Seek approval from your school administration to  ensure posters will not be removed.
  • Host a taste test. A taste test is a great way to promote healthy options and garner enthusiasm around trying new foods.
  • Plan a fun and interactive family event around nutrition promotion. Take advantage of events like parent-teacher conferences, when you have a built-in audience, to provide healthy snacks and nutrition tips.
  • Plan a health & wellness fair to bring in community partners to provide nutrition resources.
  • Make a list of all the ways you communicate with families and the community, such as a school newsletter, social media and school website. Infuse nutrition messages into these communication channels when possible.
  • If your school does not have a school newsletter, create a wellness-focused one to promote healthy eating and physical activity to families.
  • Share short nutrition and physical activity tips during the morning announcements.
  • Allow students to visit the water fountain throughout the school day and to carry water bottles in class. Send a letter home to parents to encourage them to participate in this practice.
  • Promote a healthy topic each month on a healthy bulletin board in the main office.
  • Spruce up your cafeteria with murals, artwork, posters and table tents to promote good nutrition during breakfast and lunch.

Tips

Be a healthy role model. This is one of the best ways to promote nutrition for students.

Be consistent. Make sure celebrations, rewards and family events promote healthy or non-food options.

Children learn best when they receive information through multiple communication channels. At a minimum, promote nutrition in the classroom, cafeteria and at home.

If displaying posters, make sure messages are age appropriate so all students can understand.

Work with your school’s art teacher to create posters, signs and other artwork that reinforce healthy eating messages. Display the art all around your school building.

Consider dedicating a student group (or creating a subcommittee of an existing student group) to promoting healthy eating throughout the school.

If creating materials from scratch, contact local community artists, graphic designers and/or high school/college students to help design and develop materials.

Engage parent volunteers by asking them to assist with preparing a taste test by organizing materials, cutting fruits and vegetables and handing out samples or collecting student surveys on the day of the taste test

Volunteers can be a tremendous resource when it comes to planning and organizing a health & wellness fair. Volunteers can reach out to local vendors to participate, recruit other volunteers to assist and help with day of event logistics.

If you are wanting to create nutrition posters or signs to hang around the school and in classrooms, recruit a local graphic designer to volunteer their creative services to design the materials.

Recruit a volunteer to help organize and lead a before/after school nutrition club for students.