Perfect time to model healthy eating, cooking and sustainable practices
Scores of schools around the nation will be celebrating the third annual Food Day on October 24th. Food Day is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food, and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. It builds all year long and culminates on October 24.
Food Day aims to help people Eat Real. That means cutting back on sugar drinks and overly salted packaged foods in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and sustainably raised protein. Food Day celebrates our food system when it works and aims to fix it when it’s broken. It’s an opportunity to support better local, state, and federal food and nutrition policies and to educate the public, especially kids, about healthy, sustainable diets.
Food Day 2013, in collaboration with the Jamie Oliver Foundation, will focus on food education as a way to improve our diets, address obesity and other health issues, starting with schools. Introducing kids to new fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—along with a few basic recipes—can put them on track to make smart food choices for life. Whether in the classroom, the lunchroom, or the school garden, schools are ideal sites for educating children on how to be happier and healthier learners.
The most important ingredient in Food Day is you! Here are a few suggestions for how you can celebrate Food Day with the students in your school:
- Bring food education into the classroom with Food Day Curriculum, developed by Columbia Teachers College.
- Ask the children in your school to pledge to go sugary drink free for a week.
- Bring in a speaker for a school assembly on Food Day. Some good speakers may be local farmers, nutrition experts, hunger experts, policymakers or chefs.
- Plan an “Eat Real” menu in the school cafeteria on Food Day and feature local fruits and vegetables and highlight new healthy food options.
- Have the children participate in a Food Day poster contest and hang the posters throughout your school.
- Hold a healthy food drive at your school for the local food pantry.
- Introduce taste and food education activities in the cafeteria or in the classroom
- Check out Food Day Guide for School Organizers and visit the Food Day school resource page for more information.
You can alsofind an event in your hometown that would be appropriate for students, or get in touch with Food Day organizers in your area, if you’d like assistance.
Don’t forget to registeryour school’s Food Day events or initiatives on the national Food Day map.
Nancy Huehnergarth is the National/New York State Food Day 2013 Coordinator and the president of Nancy F. Huehnergarth Consulting. Follow her on Twitter @nyshepa.