The high prevalence of obesity in the country has resulted in a number of policy issues for schools including the requirement by the New Jersey legislature that schools receiving funds for school breakfast and lunch programs develop nutrition and wellness plans. All schools regardless of lunch programs benefit from a wellness plan focusing on healthful eating, snacks and physical activity. Our children's long-term health is at stake.
Educators from the Family and Community Health Science (FCHS) Department of Rutgers Cooperative Extension can provide expertise on this critical issue. One of the major FCHS focus areas is nutrition, fitness & lifestyle, including obesity prevention. These are some ways in which educators can help:
- Policy development - School Wellness Plan development through service on district committee and/or suggestions and response to proposed plans. Policy areas to consider include - staff wellness, recess, lunch, vending machines, and food & fund-raising
- Teacher or food service staff in-service on nutrition, obesity, food allergies, & hands-on nutrition activities for the classroom (CEU's available)
- Parent education programs
For more information, find a FCHS Educator in your county.
Grow Healthy is a comprehensive school based nutrition education program that aims to address and promote healthy living. Grow Healthy focuses on all aspects of the school environment, inside and outside the school building. Creating positive healthy lifestyles involves students, administrators, teachers, food service, parents and caregivers, and support from local businesses, community based organizations, and the farming community. Read more about Grow Healthy.