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Whats In Your Snack?

By
Jenny Terry,   Morningside El
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Access to Healthy Foods

"What’s in our snack foods?" is a lesson I did with my students in grades 3rd-5th during our 21 Day Healthy Snack Challenge. This challenge is put on by Medical City Hospital to help promote healthy snacking. I love this lesson because we take a close look at all types of common snacks that children eat on a daily basis. This lesson starts off with me teaching about the Nutrition Fact Labels and what each item on the label means. I explain what we need more or less of based on an overall healthy diet. The students are then divided into several stations each containing a label from a common snack, a nutrition fact to look up on the label, and then an exercise to go along with the serving size of that fact (i.e.; look at calories per serving and do that many jumping jacks). This is a great visual to help the students see how unhealthy a snack might be. When they leave my class, they definitely are very aware of what they should be eating and why. I refer back to this lesson often throughout the year when we talk about nutrition and healthy choices. The children always remember the amount of reps per exercise they had to do during this lesson. The impact of my students remembering this, I feel, helps them be aware of the snacks they choose. I am also reminded about the impact of this lesson by walking through the cafeteria during lunch. When I walk through, the kiddos are always holding up food items from their lunches and showing me the labels.

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How did you accomplish your goals?

I accomplished my goal in many ways. I had a Healthy Selfie wall which student took pictures with their healthy snacks and sent them in. My Fuel Up to Play 60 Team would hand out stickers to those who they saw eating healthy snacks in their classroom, and I did many different types of lesson like the one explained above “What’s in our Snack Foods?” My students are still showing me their snacks and lunches when I walk through the cafeteria.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

I worked together with my Fuel Up to Play 60 Team to brainstorm ways we could promote healthy eating. We would promote school competitions such as which class had the most students participate in the 21 Day Challenge. This got both students and teachers involved in encouraging each other to participate. This year, the teachers participated in the Challenge as well. This helped adults and students work together to hold each other accountable.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

I am always promoting healthy eating and having a balanced diet. It seems like the kiddos really try to eat healthy during our challenges and lessons. The problem I face is keeping the children excited and consistent during the times in between us focusing on healthy eating. We try to overcome this challenge by having my team encourage students to eat healthy during snack time. They also made some posters as reminders. The students notice the posters and it triggers them to eat better.