March is National Nutrition Month! There are so many ways to raise awareness on the importance of healthy eating habits and stay informed about the nutritious choices we have. We’ve created a Nutrition Activity Bucket List to make it easy for teachers, after school programs, activity directors, and parents to print and check off and complete activities for the month. Here is the printable version. You’ll also find more details and ideas for each activity below.
We love to share amazing success stories of schools becoming fitness champions and encouraging students to live an active lifestyle. John Taylor is a physical education teacher at Beloved Community Charter School in Jersey City, NJ, and his life’s mission is physical fitness. Here’s his inspiring story of how he brought this mission to life at his school.
Let’s Move! Active Schools allowed our health and safety team to come together, and review our policies regarding physical activity and nutrition. By working as a team to answer the application questions, we collectively created answers, identified deficiencies, and generated action plans to meet the health-related needs of our students. It was really eye opening to hear perceptions from other teachers regarding the effectiveness of our school health initiatives, and compared those perceptions to health screening data we obtained from our nurse and FitnessGram results. After we realized our perceptions didn’t match the data, we know it was time to implement program changes to improve student health.
Heather Parisi is the founder of the Fitness for Africa program and the Pearl Of Hope School in Uganda, Africa. She shares with us her incredible and inspiring story of her journey to Africa that made such a difference in the lives of the children in Uganda. This is her story:
It was a trip to Uganda to visit the Silverback Gorillas that changed my life forever. Always having a calling within to visit Africa and experience the animals and Safari, never did I imagine that five years after my first trip to Uganda I would have my own Not For Profit Organization and be operating a Nursery and Primary School based on bringing healthy lifestyles and opportunity to the vulnerable and forgotten people of Uganda.
Fitness For Africa is the result of my experience in Uganda five years ago, and Pearl of Hope Nursery and Primary School is my thriving and fully operational school now serving 60 students and their families in the village of Lela Obaro, Uganda.
MyPlate is the USDA food symbol that illustrates our five food groups into a familiar image for kids. It represents a place setting for a meal. These five food groups are the building blocks for a healthy diet and MyPlate helps by prompting consumers on how to build a healthier plate.
We love this organization and everything they do to inspire healthy eating habits, so to celebrate National Nutrition Month for March, we want to show you 8 of our favorite products.
Be the first to fill your plate with a balanced meal that follows the USDA’s guidelines. Food cards with real life photos are self checking, backs match food groups. Includes activity guide, 50 food cards, spinner and 4 placemats. For 2 to 4 players, grades Pre-K and up.
The perfect reminder to make USDA-recommended food choices! Kids color their own “table setting” with then add food stickers to the appropriate food groups.
I love this activity for kids! Who didn’t enjoy playing Candy Land® as a child? It’s a great game, but let’s face it, it doesn’t send the healthiest message. That’s where S&S comes in! Jumbo Nutrition Island is one of our S&S Exclusive products created by Brian Feeney, our Sports and Recreation product manager. He put a healthier spin on the classic board game by creating fun characters like Broccoli Bob, Betty Banana, and Tommy Toast, bringing excitement to different food groups and choices for kids.
The jumbo size gets kids out of their chairs and encourages them to be active with exercises like “Crab Walk” and “Hop on Two Feet” through fitness challenge cards. It is the perfect rainy day activity to keep kids active while stuck indoors. The game would make a great addition to your camp program, after school room, physical education class or even for a special event. It can be adjusted to accommodate groups of players from Pre-k to middle school aged children. At the easiest level, no reading is required and color recognition and match skills are practiced on a nutritious and food friendly island. In more advanced versions, players are tested on their knowledge of food categories and will be
required to move around to move their player piece forward.
The game includes a giant 4′ x 5’4″ vinyl game board, 6 Friendly Food game pieces, 72 play cards including 12 movement cards and rules.
Brian even created a printable activity sheet with suggested fun and educational activities based on the age and size of your group. Check out the product and activities here on our site. View our video below with a group of Pre-K students having fun playing the game!
We would love to hear your thoughts on this game as teachers, educators, and activity planners. How would you incorporate Jumbo Nutrition Island into your program? Let us know in the comments below.