Good health is critical to ensuring that students can make the most of their educational opportunities. Healthy kids have higher attendance rates, perform better on tests and are more prepared to engage in learning. Schools play a central role in creating those optimal conditions of health that can set students up for a lifetime of success.
You can help encourage healthy choices by implementing strategies in your school community to encourage healthy eating, improve nutrition, foster more physical activity, decrease stress, and support greater social and emotional well-being. Here are some simple ideas and resources to help you strengthen the health and well-being of students at your school.
Choose a topic area to begin building
a healthier school environment for students.
BUILD PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Tools for Classroom Physical Activity Breaks
Find creative ways to integrate physical activity and stimulating learning at the same time with these classroom resources for short physical activity breaks.
Safe Routes to School
Promote active transportation to and from school by implementing a Safe Routes to School program with this handy guide.
Fire Up Your Feet
This program offers free resources, an online activity tracker, a school fundraising organizer and more, all aimed at increasing physical activity before, during and after school for students, parents, school staff and teachers.
Walking School Bus
Bring children and adults together to make the walk to and from school extra fun and healthy with this guide from Safe Routes to School.
Build a Strong Recess Policy
Evaluate your school’s recess policy and build on the policy to create the most effective and engaging recess for all students with these resources.
Let’s Move! Active Schools
Let’s Move! Active Schools is a physical activity and physical education solution to ensure 60 minutes of physical activity a day is the new norm for schools.
The Walking Classroom
Make your classroom a walking classroom with podcasts that get kids and teachers learning and exercising together.
Bring play back into the day and enliven your playgrounds with these resources that make play a positive force in your school and community.
Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program
The best way to make sure young people get plenty of daily exercise is by building a comprehensive program for physical activity, one that takes advantage of all the opportunities to get moving during the school day.
PROMOTE HEALTHY EATING
Healthy Snack List
Keeping kids fed throughout the day is essential; ensuring that these snack are healthy will help improve energy and focus throughout the day.
Provide a quality school meal program and ensure your school meals are consistent with the new USDA nutrition standards.
Breakfast is a critical meal for children to start the day in a healthful way and these resources will help you in evaluating and strengthening your school’s breakfast program.
Healthy School Celebrations
Use these tips to serve healthier food and beverages at school celebrations and holiday parties.
Creating Healthy Concessions: A Resource Guide
Consider creating a district or school-wide policy on concession stand food guidelines to support healthy eating for students, staff and families attending school sporting events.
Hydration Havens: Water Accessibility in Schools
Learn how to promote better access to clean drinking water for your school environment as a way to promote better hydration and overall health.
Build an Effective Wellness Policy
Use this guide to start a wellness committee or team at your school to talk about the health and wellness of students and staff.
The Weight of the Nation
Share an episode from the groundbreaking documentary series The Weight of the Nation and The Weight of the Nation for Kids in your classroom to help students understand the obesity epidemic and what they can do about it.