Food in the Classroom
A healthy eating pattern helps students learn better and grow stronger. Make the most of every opportunity to support healthy food choices during the school year. Mealtime is not the only time kids need to make healthy food choices. Kids come into contact with food choices in different ways during the school day — from rewarding good behavior, to celebrations and fundraisers. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Model healthy eating behaviors by consuming healthy foods and beverages in front of your students.
- Make trying healthy foods a regular part of your classroom learning.
- Schedule one day each month for a fruit and vegetable tasting event (e.g. first Friday of each month).
- Encourage healthy responses to tasting new foods with tasting rules.
- Establish a healthy party policy in your classroom.
- Offer healthy non-food rewards in the classroom, such as extra recess, dress-up days, or reading a special book.
- Play “Colorful Fruits and Veggies” (English) (Spanish) or “Fruit and Veggie Trivia” (English) (Spanish) with your students.
- Review the school lunch menu and decide on a fruit or veggie to try together as a class.
- Make food safety a priority in your classroom. Use the classroom food safety checklist or sign the food safety pledge to ensure food is handled safely in the classroom.
- Include nutrition education curricula in your lesson plans.
- Connect with parents by sharing a newsletter or handout.
Check your school’s wellness policy to see if there is information about serving food in the classroom. At the minimum, ensure that you follow classroom food safety guidelines for serving food.