Schools reach children during an important period of development, in an environment that can positively influence healthy behaviors. Children spend the majority of their day at school and eat one or more meals, plus snacks during that time. Combine this with educational goals focused on positive physical, social, emotional, and academic development and schools are an ideal location to support increased physical activity and healthy eating. Schools have the opportunity to provide healthier foods in the classroom and cafeteria, and to creatively increase physical activity throughout the entire school day, supporting healthier children now. They also provide a safe environment for children to learn and practice the skills needed to support healthy behaviors for a lifetime!
To address the policies, practices, and environments that influence healthy lifestyle behaviors, schools can use our 10 Strategies for Success:
- Limit unhealthy choices for snacks and celebrations; provide healthy choices.
- Limit or eliminate sugary drinks; provide water.
- Prohibit the use of food as a reward.
- Provide opportunities to get physical activity every day.
- Limit recreational screen time.
- Participate in local, state, and national initiatives that support healthy eating and active living.
- Engage community partners to help support healthy eating and active living at your site.
- Partner with and educate families in adopting and maintaining a lifestyle that supports healthy eating and active living.
- Implement a staff wellness program that includes healthy eating and active living.