Teach kids the importance of balancing what they eat with physical activity by celebrating this year’s National School Lunch Week theme “Get in the Game.”
Post was written by Tiana Yom, MPH, CHES
Schools have been back in session for a couple of months now and everyone knows how important it is for kids to be properly fueled to make it through the day – including afterschool activities. It’s no surprise then that the School Nutrition Association (SNA) chooses this time of year to celebrate National School Lunch Week. (You can learn more about the National School Lunch Program in Jessica’s post about National School Lunch Week 2011.) I love this year’s theme, “Get in the Game with School Lunch,” which emphasizes the importance of balancing healthy eating and physical activity for kids.
Calories in vs. calories out is one of the fundamental principles of human nutrition, which makes it an important lesson to teach children early on. When it comes to what to eat, school cafeterias are doing a better job of serving nutritionally balanced meals that are lower in calories, fat, and sodium and include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and locally-grown ingredients.
On the physical activity side of the equation, kids need 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. Not all kids will get enough at school, so here are some ways you and your family can make it happen at home:
- Commit to taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Take a walk around the block after dinner
- Encourage kids to try a new sport or activity
- If possible, walk to and from school or get off the bus a few blocks away from school/home
For more ideas and tips to organize a School Lunch Week celebration in a school near you, check out SNA’s ‘Let’s Get Started’ page. There are fun activities for kids of all ages, including coloring sheets, word searches, and crossword puzzles. Plus, you can share your celebration with SNA all year round!
What is your child’s favorite school lunch and physical activity?
If you don’t have kids, tell us your favorite school lunch memory!