Teacher, what if sugar was on today’s menu for the students in your classroom?
Breakfast: 1 donut, orange juice, bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Morning Snack: drinkable yogurt
Lunch: 1 piece of pizza, can of soda, a whole Snickers bar
After School Snack: chips, Smarties, glass of milk
Dinner: burger, fries, soda
I don’t think I need to ask you what would happen if all of your students ate this every day because you already know! You are on the receiving end of their sugar loving taste buds every day.
Couple that with the possibility of watching TV and playing video games before school and all evening.
It is worthwhile to have the classroom discussion of how this lifestyle of sugar consumption affects their body, their mind, and their attitudes. Have your students come up with a list of how they feel when they eat just like the menu above.
Tired all the time
Hard to focus
Feel sad sometimes
Want more chocolate
Get winded going up the stairs.
Can’t run as fast. Maybe they don’t even want to run.
Bending over gets harder. Not as flexible.
Is this how they want to feel? Is this how they want to live? They may simply need to be reminded that even their food choices have consequences.
I own a diesel truck. I can only fill the truck with diesel. If I fill it up with unleaded gas, my truck will stop running. It is the exact same thing for our bodies. Share this example with your students. If they do not fill their body up with “good food fuel,” they won’t be able to run well.
They were made to thrive, to live, to love life, and to have the most fun! They can do this best by filling their body with food that blesses their heart, mind, muscles, and organs. The knowledge and awareness of how sugar affects their body may be all they need to help them to make healthier food choices. Your discussions in class can encourage them to ask mom and dad for healthier snacks and lunches.
Incorporate stretching, jumping up, reaching up high, reaching down low, crazy dancing it out to a song – all at their desks in intervals. This will freshen their mind, re-establish their focus, and help them to feel good about their bodies and their work.
We love our students. You have so much to cover in one day, and so many different learning needs to address. And there are numerous things outside of your control that you must resolve. You give 110% and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Your work matters. Your influence is so valuable. Teacher, we appreciate you so much, and we thank you for all that you do. As always, if you need anything, comment below and let me know how I can help.
And before this brief read is complete, Mom, Dad, Grandparent, this is for you! You can help your child to choose healthy food choices that bless their body, their minds, and their attitudes! Choose to not buy the sugary foods, processed meal options, and sodas. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store loading your cart up with fresh or frozen fruits, vegetables, and meats. While life is busy, you can still eat these healthier options by buying pre-cut veggies as well as already roasted chicken. Dips such as hummus and guacamole make carrots, peppers, cucumbers, and celery sticks even more fun to eat and help their bodies to absorb all the great nutrients. Dip apple slices in nut butters for a sustaining snack that won’t have them asking for another snack twenty minutes later.
All through high school I played field hockey. My mom and dad also gave us pocket money for the first time to buy lunch at school. Those few dollars burned holes in my pocket! And guess what I bought every day for lunch? I bought two Little Debbie Snack Cakes. The Little Debbie Swiss Rolls and the Nutty Bars where my favorite!! And I also really liked the Little Debbie Peanut Butter Crunch Bars. That was all I ate for lunch.
Well you can imagine how well I could perform out on the field three hours later. I remember wishing so much that I could run faster and run longer without getting tired. I just had no extra energy left. It didn’t even clue in that if I would power my body with long lasting, energy sustaining proteins and vegetables, I would have way more energy. I wasn’t taught that back then and I just didn’t have the knowledge. Besides, I liked my Little Debbie lunch way too much!
We know now. We can set our children up for success in the classroom, in on-line learning, in sports and after school activities, and in life by teaching and guiding them to make healthy food choices. Let’s show them with our example that we care about our mental, emotional, and physical states and that we choose to power our bodies well with life giving, nutrient rich foods and lots of water.
Now, I would love to hear from you. What can you do to turn that insight into action now?
Leave a comment below and let me know. Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. So many amazing moms, dads, grandparents, and teachers come here for insight and motivation, and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.
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With enormous love,