After lovingly packing a healthy and delicious lunch for little Andrea, including a surprise note inside that reminds her that you love her, she is off to her first day at the new school! But what happens when she actually gets to school? Does she eat her lunch on a crowded gym floor? Does she have time to eat or does she run off to play soccer with her half eaten tuna sandwich abandoned in her backpack?
How students eat at school can be as important as what they eat. Healthy Eating at School shares some great ideas for creating better school lunch environments in this short video and in the "Play First Lunch" Toolkit, that could be shared with your Parent Advisory Committee and the school community as a whole. Getting involved in the food environment of the school can be rewarding. Not only can it help fill in that black hole of questions that you have but, you can feel good about contributing to the school community.
A common way many parents get involved is through fundraising.
Fundraising can seem daunting at first. However, by using the Healthy Fundraising for Schools resource and reaching out for a little assistance from a registered dietitian at Dietitian Services or a community dietitian in their area, parents can help model healthy choices while helping the school community support fundraising projects. Using supportive resources like Bake Better Bites and the Brand Name Food List also makes the job easier and more rewarding. And yes, schools are having fundraising success with healthier choices. With a few tools under your belt, you can be confidentcontributing in more ways than just through fundraising.
Modelling through your actions and through a supportive school environment can have a strong and lasting impact on your child's and others in how they perceive and value the school community and their role in it. You can help little Andrea have her lunch and eat it too.
How have you been able to contribute to your school community?