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Promoting Health, Nutrition, and Safety in our classrooms.

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1 Promoting Health, Nutrition, and Safety in our classrooms.
By Michelle Altea-Cerbo Windsor The purpose of the presentation is to promote Health, Nutrition, and Safety in the classroom. “The World Health Organization (WHO) defines wellness as an optimal state of health for individuals or groups. In a state of wellness, individuals should be able to reach their fullest potential physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually, and economically” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., ). This definition is very important to know because starting early on and having the goal of “reaching their fullest potential” make a big difference in how we live our lives. First that is mentioned is physically. How can we share to our students the benefits of being physically fit? What are ways we can do to get them involve in exercise, sports, or simply having a recess to play? Second is psychologically. How can we create an environment that create this setting that is good for their mental health? Third is socially. How can we get involve students to have a healthy relationship with their classmates? Also, how can we get parents involve in teaching kids about health, nutrition, and safety? Fourth is spiritually. Although, it is not mentioned in this presentation, it’s always good to be respectful of others spiritual beliefs. Also, if it is somehow related to food, it is good to be aware of another’s culture and religion. Fifth is economically. How can we help parents who are struggling with putting food on the table. Do we have resources that we can share in order for them to feed healthy and nutritious food to their children? These questions should be addressed and answered, so we can better prepare ourselves in our promotion of health, nutrition, and safety to our students, and also their families.

2 “Health is more than just the absence of disease or illness” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012).
Yes, as teachers knowing that there’s more to health, nutrition, and safety that we can do. It is not just “the absence of disease or illness.”

3 Preschool Teachers “Therefore, caregivers and teachers are responsible for providing information, exhibiting healthy practices, offering opportunities to apply this information, correcting unhealthy practices, and maintaining healthy environments for young children” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012 ) This presentation will cover the different ways we can promote Health, Nutrition, and Safety in the classroom. Also, as teachers, how we can be good examples to our students. Being knowledgeable about health, nutrition, and safety and being role models are a good start for us to start with. The first part of the presentation is about health. It’s definition is discussed. Also, strategies are given in supporting health and wellness in the classroom. Then, resources are also mentioned so as to share it with the parents. Furthermore, a family activity is given as an example so as to make the promotion of health more fun for the kids and the parents themselves. Lastly, an example of an obstacle and a solution are mentioned so as to prepare ourselves on how to confront and deal with it when it arises. Our goals as teachers are to be knowledgeable, role models, and be prepared for anything that may come our way for the sake of promoting health, nutrition, and safety for the students.

4 I. Health “Health promotion can be any activity that strives to facilitate optimum well-being. A variety of activities can encourage and support people to make dietary, behavioral, or other choices that will sustain their mental and physical health, or improve their current physical or mental condition, if needed. Health promotion methods include education, motivation, skill building, behavior reinforcement, and facilitating environmental improvements that foster good health (Allen, 2012)” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012 ). Being aware of our own health is also a good way to start, so we can better promote it to others especially in our classrooms.

5 Role Models A. Strategies Practice
“Adults should help children develop a positive attitude regarding healthy behaviors such as eating nutritious foods, getting adequate amounts of sleep and physical activity, and reducing the impacts of stress” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012 ). Being role models and practice good healthy habits with the children are the best strategies.

6 B. Helpful Resources “A health consultant, or a qualified professional who provides health-related guidance, can be useful to a child care program, preschool, elementary school, and families…” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012). Another similar resource is the Bright Futures Guidelines available at This resource describes practical applications of recommendations in health supervision, health records, nutrition, and oral health…” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012). Knowing who to ask, such as a health consultant and also helpful websites are very important.

7 C. Obstacle: Uninvolved Parents
How to get parents involve? “For example, educators can host events several times at the beginning of each school year, where families are invited to the school or center to see the space, meet staff, and ask questions. This type of outreach will help families feel more comfortable in the school environment, and will likely help the lessons taught in school be reinforced in the home” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012 ) Teachers and parents should be a team when it comes to teaching kids about their health.

8 II. Nutrition Healthy food habits start early, so it is important for those involved in the care and education of children to have some understanding of the science of nutrition and be able to apply that knowledge to the guidelines for healthy eating. Childhood educators have many avenues for influencing healthful eating by teaching lessons, being role models, and creating positive health environments” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012 ).

9 A. Strategies “MyPlate recommends making half of the plate vegetables and fruit, a quarter of the plate grains (with an emphasis on whole grains), and a quarter of the plate lean meats and proteins” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012). This website is helpful when it comes to food allergy: to-school-tool-kit)

10 B. Resources Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) WIC: • Provides supplemental food to pregnant or lactating women, infants, and children (up to the age of 5) of low income. • Aims to help support the nutrition needs of these high-risk women, infants, and children by providing food packages whose contents are influenced by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. • Seeks to provide nutrition education, health referrals, and breast-feeding support as well. • Eligibility: Household income must be at or below 185% of the poverty level. In 2011, the poverty threshold for a family of four was $22,350. (In order to be eligible for WIC benefits, a family of four would have to earn at or less than $41,348 per year). 2) NSLP: • Federally supported program of the USDA where schools who participate in the NSLP agree to provide lunches that meet these criteria in exchange for cash subsidies and food donations called entitlement foods. • School lunches must provide for one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of major nutrients (calories, protein, vitamins A and C, minerals iron and calcium). • Also in accordance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, fat can provide no more than 30% of the calories in the meal, with saturated fat being limited to 10% of total calories. • Families who are at or below 130% of the poverty level are eligible for free nutritionally balanced lunches. Families who fall between 130 and 185% of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price lunches. Reference: Groark, C. J., & Song, L. A. (2012). Health and nutrition of children. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

11 C. MyPlate Game 1) Families can play the MyPlate Game by placing each food on their plates. 2) Each has a printed plate like this as a guide. Then they can place all the healthy food on the table. 3) When the parents and children identify each food, they can place it on their plate.

12 III. Safety “Children are constantly learning, and the lessons they learn come in many forms. Just the simple everyday tasks of getting ready for a meal and eating that meal offer the opportunity to learn, not only about what makes food healthy and good for their little bodies, but also about how to eat in a way that keeps them safe and well” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012 ). Aside from eating nutritious food, it also must be safe (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., ).

13 A. Strategies Be knowledgeable Hand washing
“Those involved in the care of children have the opportunity to give children a great deal of knowledge and care through the practice of offering safe and nutritious food to nourish their bodies and minds” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., ). Hand washing “Hand washing is one of the most valuable lessons children can learn to protect their health. Children should be encouraged to use warm water and rub soap vigorously for at least 20 seconds before rinsing” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012 ).

14 B. Resources 2) Recognize common hazards through role playing.
1) Website: “Keeping Kids Safe: A guide for safe food handling and sanitation is a resource for child care providers that can be found online at resources/appendj.pdf” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012 ) 2) Recognize common hazards through role playing. “The ability to recognize common hazards that lead to illness and the knowledge of measures that can be taken to prevent illness are valuable skills for those people involved in the care of infants and young children” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012 ). “Educating children encompasses many facets of learning, not only academic, but about their health and safety. Role modeling is one of the first and best ways to educate children” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., ).

15 C. Food Safety Activity •Cleaning eating surfaces before and after meals and snacks •Not using serving utensils for actual eating •Checking with adults before sharing food (Sorte, 2011) While at dinner time, parents can introduce and quiz kids regarding food safety: •Using the handles of utensils (versus the end that is used for direct handling of food) Incorporating food safety during a meal time is the best way to teach kids with the proper way of handling food so as to prevent illness. To make it more enjoyable, perhaps to give them complements and prizes at the end for their participation.

16 D. Obstacle: What to do when kids run around while eating?
“Children should be seated when eating, not walking, running, playing, lying down, etc” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012 ). Be firm and use “time-out” if need me. Also, let them realize and explain the importance of being seated while eating.

17 We have a big part in promoting Health, Nutrition, and Safety to our students!
“Health promotion is a core principle of public health. The field of public health focuses on the health and wellness of entire populations, rather than individuals, and conceptualizes health as more than just the absence of disease or illness” (Groark, C. J. & Song, L. A., 2012 ).

18 Reference: Groark, C. J., & Song, L. A. (2012). Health and nutrition of children. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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