getting into the swing of things

imageWe’re slowly getting into the rhythm of the school year.  Class parents have been assigned and now the Health+Wellness efforts begin.  Every year the same questions come up-

How does snack work in the classroom?

How are birthday celebrations handled?

How will the class celebrate holidays?

Taking things one step at a time, month by month, protects our sanity and makes the school H+W tasks possible.  But the goal should always remain the same- Provide students with good fuel 4 school that is healthy, affordable and convenient.  It’s not always easy to accomplish these at the same time but it can be done.

Check out these suggestions for healthier Halloweens and ways to have non-food focused celebrations and you can always refer to The Bradford Food Guide as well.

Healthy Halloween Handout

The Bradford Food Guide http://montclairpta.org/pta/pages/articles/bradford10978.pdf

Fuel 4 School April 2015 Update

IMG_2957

How were the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in your class? We’d love to hear about them!

healthandwellness@bradfordpta.org

Classroom Snacks for April: Same old, Same old… apples, oranges or bananas- the go to fresh snack for most of the year. But the students don’t seem to be complaining! No matter how many times apples are offered for snack, the teachers report happy students. Hopefully spring berries will be on their way soon.

Assorted Veggies and Dip are also a great and affordable idea for a fresh classroom snack. Carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cucumbers are well received especially when you find a dip (like ranch, hummus or guacamole) that the classroom enjoys. (See Allergy Reminder below)

Classroom Celebrations for April: There are always opportunities to make balanced food choices or non-food choices for celebrations in the classroom.

http://outoftheboxfood.com/2011/09/25/healthier-options-for-school-parties-birthday-treats/

Spring Celebration Ideas

  • Take a Nature Walk to discover the first signs of spring
  • Decorate Flower Pots
  • Plant Seeds
  • Have a Spring Produce Snack- Carrots/Radishes and Dip, Carrot Muffins, Berries, Berry Smoothies

http://weelicious.com/2008/07/17/carrotpineapple-cupcakes/

http://www.galonamission.com/mixed-berry-smoothie/

Allergy Reminder:

Please be very sensitive to and aware of the food allergies students may have in your classroom. Avoid these food items and carefully read Food Labels when providing shared food at school. Always check with the teacher prior to a snack, birthday party or holiday party to confirm that plans for the shared classroom food are free of food allergens.

You can always refer to The Bradford Food Guide for ideas:

http://montclairpta.org/pta/pages/articles/bradford10978.pdf

Fuel 4 School March 2015 Update

IMG_4397How were the Valentine’s Day celebrations in your class? We’d love to hear about them! healthandwellness@bradfordpta.org

Snack Ideas for March:

Prioritizing the convenience and cost of a healthy classroom group snack at school is sometimes easier said than done. Focusing on seasonal produce can help keep costs lower. And there are so many fresh options that are simple to prep.

Bananas are a nutrient-dense, year-round option for a fresh snack at school. They are a great source of potassium and dietary fiber. Bananas are affordable, easy to transport, and simple to cut in half for snack size portions.

Citrus is still an option at great prices. Oranges of all kinds are a seasonal option for a healthy snack.

naval, cara cara and blood oranges
orange navel, pink cara cara and blood oranges

Classroom Celebrations for March:

It’s time for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Here are some ideas to help make balanced choices, avoid artificial ingredients and food dyes, and have some non-food focused fun.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Ideas

http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/healthy_school_celebrations.pdf

You can always refer to The Bradford Food Guide for ideas:

http://montclairpta.org/pta/pages/articles/bradford10978.pdf

Fuel 4 School January/February 2015 Update

happy 2015!

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when everyone seems focused on their health and wellness- a new start to a new year. What a great time to encourage and support Health and Wellness in our schools. We are hearing that so many classrooms are providing students a fresh snack once a week (with Wellness Wednesdays and Fresh Fridays at Bradford, for example). This is an incredible step towards improving the “fuel” that the students have during their learning hours at schools. Especially at this time of year, these efforts must be congratulated!

Want to do more? Need help getting Fresh Friday’s started in your classroom? Signup Genius can make providing and coordinating fresh classroom snacks simple. Please let us know if you need help getting Wellness Wednesday Healthy Classroom Snack or Fresh Fridays running in your classroom.

Snack Ideas: Citrus season is here! Clementines, navel oranges and other varieties of citrus make for a great snack in the classroom. Most grocery stores always have a great variety of citrus fruits at this time of year along with an abundance of gorgeous boxes of clementines ready to buy.   It’s always helpful to confirm with your teacher how fresh snacks should be delivered (i.e. peeled).

Classroom Celebrations: Valentine’s Day Celebrations!  Here are some healthy food and non-food related ideas.

http://www.nourishinteractive.com/nutrition-education-printables/category/19-kids-valentines-day-activities-free-printables-cute-valentines-day-kids-healthy-nutrition-foods-fun-coloring-activities-worksheets

http://www.superkidsnutrition.com/sn_valentines-day/

Re-post from Super Kids Nutrition:

Revamp your Family or Classroom’s Valentine’s Day Celebration with these Easy Tips!

  • Not all Hearts Come in Chocolate– create a magnificent masterpiece for your party table with colorful berries arranged on a tray in heart shape. Your heart will thank you for this dessert!
  • Think Beyond Hershey’s Kisses– Instead of traditional candy attached to your Valentine cards, make it a special sticker, pencil or an eraser this year.
  • Indulge in Sweets with Benefits. Make your own heart-healthy desserts by dipping fresh and dried fruits in dark chocolate, rich in antioxidants protecting our heart.
  • Give the most important muscle a workout! Make it a dance party, a jumping party, or balance-a-balloon-on-your head party. The possibilities are endless!
  • Give kids the gift of love – knowledge! Teach them about their heart, how to find their heart beat and what they should do to keep their hearts healthy.
  • Be hearty to those who need it most.Run a food or clothes drive in your school and donate the items to local shelters.

Pink Smoothies! (made with red berries) were a hit for Valentine’s Day at Bradford last year in Ms. Chanin’s 2nd grade classroom!

Make up your own combination of healthy fuel ingredients to suit your class’s requests and needs or follow a recipe. http://simplekids.net/pink-smoothies-for-my-valentines/

You can always refer to The Bradford Food Guide for ideas: http://montclairpta.org/pta/pages/articles/bradford10930.pdf

Have any Healthy Hero stories in your class? We’d love to hear about them! healthandwellness@bradfordpta.org