I’ve written a lot over the years (really, A LOT – see the Related Links below) about junk food in school classrooms, whether distributed by teachers as rewards for good behavior and academic performance or served as part of birthday or classroom celebrations.
It’s important to note that these practices are not addressed by the new federal Smart Snacks in School rules because the sort of junk food we’re talking about here is merely offered to kids, not sold, and therefore it isn’t considered “competitive food” under these new rules.
To help improve the classroom food environment, I’ve shared my own TLT Food in the Classroom Manifesto, which lists ten reasons why I think classrooms should be junk-food-free (and, ideally, food-free), I’ve solicited a huge number of reader ideas for food-free birthday celebrations (Real Mom Nutrition has a good list here, too), and I’ve also referred you to a useful handout for teachers created by Spoonfed.
To that growing list of resources I’m glad to add an exciting new Healthy Classrooms Initiative created by School Bites blogger Stacy Whitman, along with a registered dietitian. What’s great about Stacy’s effort is that it’s a complete program, providing teachers with educational presentations by clinical dietitians, Healthy Classrooms signage, a pledge to sign, information for parents and more. You can read all the details and access the program’s materials for possible use in your own school here. Bravo, Stacy!
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