We always enjoy sharing these unique, creative and festive ideas for a healthy classroom each holiday season. We appreciate the variety of holidays being celebrated during this season so feel free to modify any of these ideas to fit your specific celebration!
November is American Diabetes Month and to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the American Diabetes Association, this year’s theme is, Eat Well, America! The goal is to promote the idea that while it’s important to eat healthy to help prevent Type II Diabetes, you don’t have to sacrifice the good flavors and taste.
The OrganWise Guys are all about teaching healthy behaviors to kids (and adults!) The four OrganWise club rules of low-fat, high-fiber, lots of water, and exercise are habits that, if practiced regularly, can lower the risk of getting Type II Diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Explaining diabetes to kids, and even parents, can be quite challenging, but luckily, The OrganWise Guys have some great resources (and fun incentive items) available that explain the concept in a lighthearted and easy-to-understand way.
Here are The OrganWise Guys’ diabetes awareness resources for kids:
Undercover Diabetes Health Agents Book – Children learn about preventing adult onset diabetes. Using compelling illustrations and simple language, children learn about diabetes and what lifestyle choices they can make to help minimize their chances of getting this disease.
Undercover Diabetes Health Agents Activity Book – This companion activity book incorporates important concepts taught in the corresponding hardback into core curriculum objectives making it easy for teachers to implement in the classroom.
Undercover Health Agents Assembly Kit – This speaker’s kit provides a script, a PowerPoint CD, master activity sheets, an evaluation tool, and more! This presentation can be delivered in a group setting (individual classroom or school-wide assembly) and is a great way to kick off an OrganWise initiative.
Diabetes Newsletters – These colorful newsletters contain practical information that helps both adults and children understand diabetes. Each edition has one side in English and one side in Spanish and comes in packs of 100.
Peter Pancreas Plush Beanie – Bring Peter Pancreas to life with this plush beanie. Let children use their imagination in “healthy” play with this colorful organ character!
Peter Pancreas Tattoo Set – Tattoos are a great way to keep The OrganWise Guys health messages alive for days! These temporary tattoos are applied with water and last for 5-10 days. They come in packs of 100.
Click here for more information and resources on American Diabetes Month!
**You can even get all of these resources at 20% off! Upon checkout, just use coupon code: school2015
Since 1995, the third week in October has been deemed National Health Education Week (NHEW). It is sponsored each year by Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) in an effort to bring awareness to major public health issues and the importance of understanding the health educators’ roles in promoting health across the country.
Next week is National School Lunch Week (NSLW) 2015!! This year’s theme is “School Lunch Snapshot” and is all about sharing the best and real images of today’s school lunch.
Do you plan on participating in NSLW festivities this year? If you need some last minute ideas, be sure to check out the School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) toolkit with lots of inspiration for making this year’s NSLW the best one ever. Click here to download your copy of the toolkit. Also, even though October 12-16, is the “official” week of celebration, we recommend being OrganWise and participate in fun activities to promote the consumption of healthy school lunches every week.
Here are some examples of how you can celebrate National School Lunch Week 2015:
- Get students involved – Make kids part of the celebration by having them participate in a contest, complete a survey about their favorite lunch foods, etc.
- DECORATE! – SNA has items for NSLW available and if you have an OrganWise Guys Foods of the Month Kit, be sure to show off all your buttons and posters to promote healthy foods.
- Keep parents in the loop – Download handouts from SNA and send home with students.
- Get the word out – Take to your school’s social media (facebook, twitter, etc) to promote NSLW. You can even share this blog post for awareness.
- Share your celebration – Take pictures, interview children and lunch staff, etc. Make this week a big celebration that you can share with your community.
What are you doing to celebrate National School Lunch Week 2015?
Taste testing is a great way to introduce new foods to kids who are otherwise apprehensive about trying them. Fruits and vegetables are the perfect food to use in taste tests because there is such a wide variety of them and so many that are unknown to most. It’s a great way to teach kids about the benefits of certain foods and why it is important to eat them. Taste tests can be done in a classroom setting, the cafeteria, or even at home.
Here are 5 tips for hosting a fun and successful taste test for kids:
- Food selection – Determine whether you are doing one food or if you are doing a variety of a specific type of food. For example, will you be sampling an avocado or will you be sampling a variety of berries? Ideally you will pick foods that are in season for maximum freshness and it will save on the wallet as well.
- Food preparation – Make sure all food is washed, cut and stored in containers ready to distribute. This will save on prep time onsite, and allow for more tasting time. If you can be creative in the presentation of a food, such as using a star or heart cookie cutter for melon, or putting berries on a skewer, this can be more fun and tempting for kids.
- Go beyond taste – Involve the other senses for increased food awareness. Have the kids observe what the food looks like, what it smells like and what it feels like. This will enhance the tasting experience, while also putting their senses to good use!
- Nutrition education – Use this time to teach kids about the nutritional value of the food and emphasize the healthy benefits it has on the body, including aiding in digestion and preventing sickness and disease.
- Track the tasting – Use fun worksheets to go along with the taste test for increased participation and discussion about the foods. If doing at school, this is a great way to get a conversation about healthy eating started at home. You can download worksheets that we have created for a berry taste test, a stone fruit taste test and a tropical fruit taste test.
If you host a taste test, take some pics and share on our Facebook page!