From reducing anxiety to improving flexibility, yoga can positively affect kids’ lives. Learn more about the benefits of yoga for children in this blog post. [More]
Feeding children isn’t always easy, especially when the food often ends up on the floor instead of in children’s tummies. To help with the mealtime struggle, we’ve come up with a list of six products you can use to make feeding kids easier. [More]
Germs in schools often cause major problems, especially during this time of the year. With the flu starting to spread and cold season just starting, it’s important you take time to emphasize the importance of preventing illness in children. [More]
With winter right around the corner, it’s a good idea to start planning indoor recess activities for when it’s too cold, rainy, or snowy to take your students outside to play. We’ve come up with a list of seven indoor recess ideas to help you offer students the best play experiences possible when they’re stuck indoors. [More]
ACHOO! It’s that time of the year again—you and the children in your care are likely suffering through the effects of pollen and seasonal allergies with itchy, watery eyes; hacking coughs; and runny noses. However, it’s important to remember that allergies and asthma can affect children and adults at any time. [More]
Celebrate National Autism Awareness Month by learning ways you can help children with autism develop self-help skills. It’s important for all children to learn how to dress themselves, cross the street, and do other essential self-help tasks, but children with autism often have a difficult time learning these skills. [More]
Do you make time for yoga in your classroom? Research has shown that yoga can help students improve their memory and focus while also giving them a healthy outlet to express their emotions. [More]
During the preschool years, children use their bodies to play and learn while developing the various motor skills they’ll use throughout their lives to stay physically active and healthy. Your guidance will help them build a strong foundation of physical skills that will help them complete everyday activities and participate in various sports. [More]
Toddlers are always on the move, but there are still plenty of opportunities to model new movements and work with toddlers on developing their physical skills. As they begin to master basic physical skills, such as running, jumping, and balancing, toddlers will become more confident in their ability to be physically active while also becoming more comfortable with their bodies. [More]
Children are never too young to move and learn about what their bodies are capable of doing. In order to run, jump, throw, and dance when they’re older, infants have to start developing and mastering balance, coordination, good posture, and other physical skills that will serve as the foundation for the more advanced physical skills they develop later in life. [More]
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month! It’s the perfect time for you to come up with a plan to help students learn about nutrition and physical activity this month and throughout the school year. [More]
March is National Nutrition Month! This year’s theme is Bite Into A Health Lifestyle. Teaching children about nutrition and helping them learn how to make healthy nutrition choices is a great way to prevent childhood obesity and help children stay healthy as they grow up. Here are five fun ways you can teach the children in your care about nutrition:
1. Play The Veggie Game
Adapted from an activity featured in The Budding Chef, The Veggie Game is a great way to teach preschoolers about vegetables while introducing them to foods they may not normally eat.
Ingredients: carrot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green pepper, head of lettuce, onion, zucchini
What to Do:
Place the vegetables on a tray.
Introduce each vegetable to children and talk about each one.
Read the riddles that follow, and see if children can guess which vegetable matches the riddle.
After children solve each riddle, pass the vegetable around for children to touch and smell.
I am long and orange, and you can eat me raw or cooked.
I can be yellow, red, white, or green. Sometimes I can be very hot. People often put me on their hamburgers.
I am crunchy and green. I often have little strings on me. Sometimes, children enjoy eating me with peanut butter.
I look like a group of little trees with stems and green leaves. I am very good for you.
You can cook me in many different ways; I can be mashed, fried, or baked. I can be red, white, brown, or even purple, and I have little eyes on my skin.
I look like a green cabbage, I am full of Vitamin C, and I am very cute and small.
I am sometimes green, sometimes red, and sometimes yellow. But I almost always have a bell shape.
I am long and green. Inside, I am a whitish color. Some cooks use me in breads or cakes and as a vegetable for dinner.
I am green and round. People use my leaves for salads and sandwiches.
Answers: 1) Carrot, 2) Onion, 3) Celery, 4) Broccoli, 5) Potato, 6) Brussel Sprout, 7) Pepper, 8) Zucchini, 9) Lettuce
2. Explore Nutrition Subjects with Garden Heroes®
Great for preschoolers and younger elementary students, the Garden Heroes® Activity Book features a variety of educational activities that help children learn nutritional information. Featuring the Veggie Garden Heroes® and the Fruit Garden Heroes®, the recipes, fun facts, trivia, and activities included in the activity book are sure to be a hit with children!
3. Play Healthy Foods & Portions Bingo
For students in kindergarten through fifth grade, the Healthy Foods & Portions Bingo game is a great way for children to learn about the USDA’s MyPlate and what correct portion sizes look like. You can also try making your own Bingo cards if you want to teach children other important nutrition concepts.
4. Discuss Nutrition with Bilingual Photo Food Cards
Using Bilingual Photo Food Cards in the classroom is the perfect way to discuss nutrition with students while also teaching them another language (cards labeled in Spanish and English) and introducing them to a number of food groups.
5. Play the MyPlate Pursuit Jr. Board Game
A great game for both preschool and primary grade children, the MyPlate Pursuit Jr. Board Game will help children learn MyPlate concepts, discover food group facts, and find ways to be physically active.
Be sure to check out our Nutrition section for a variety of materials and resources you can use to teach your students about nutrition.
It’s National School Lunch Week! We thought we would celebrate by discussing the ongoing school lunch debate and by sharing tips on how you can address parents’ concerns about what their kids are eating at school.
In recent years, school lunches have been at the center of a national conversation about the nutritional value of the food served in schools. Some people argue that school lunches offer too many bad food choices and not enough healthy options—something the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was meant to address by providing children with healthier food options and helping them learn healthy eating habits. However, many parents and teachers say the tighter regulations on school lunches aren’t working. Children often refuse to eat the healthier food options and either choose not to buy them or end up throwing them away. Older children also complain that the new portions are too small and that they still feel hungry after eating lunch.
School lunches play an important role in children’s overall health, so it’s no surprise that there’s such a focus on improving the quality of the food served to children. No matter which side you agree with in the school lunch debate, you’ve probably heard several of your students’ parents express their concerns about school lunches. Here are a few tips on how to address the school lunch issue with parents and promote healthy eating habits in your classroom:
Talk with parents and students about any changes in your school’s lunch program.
Remind parents that they can send their children to school with packed lunches.
If children complain about not getting enough to eat at lunch, see if parents would be willing to take turns providing healthy snacks (e.g., fruit, trail mix, raisins) or pooling money together to provide children with healthy snacks that you can keep in your classroom. Remember to get approval from school administrators and parents. You also need to make sure you know if any of the children in your class have food allergies.
Teach children about nutrition and why it’s important that they choose and eat the right foods throughout the day. Utilize the Nutrition Magnetic Wall Sticker Set, MyPlate Pocket Chart, and similar materials to help children learn about nutrition and portion size.
If most of the children in your class are reluctant to try a certain type of food, incorporate the food into a lesson plan and have children try the food together as a class.
Send home family engagement materials about nutrition and teaching children healthy eating habits.
Remember that school lunches can be used to teach children about nutrition, but there must be support in the classroom and at home for children to truly understand and practice healthy eating habits. Be sure to browse our nutrition materials for more ideas on how you can incorporate nutrition into your classroom.
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Fall is fast approaching! To prepare you and the toddlers in your classroom, we have some fun, healthy foods you can get little hands involved in making while they learn about nutrition! Here are fall fruits, recipes, and activities you can share with kids that they are sure to love: [More]