Healthy Food Helps Student Retention

When children are provided healthy food for school lunches, they can function at optimum performance. Too often children are not getting what they need from their lunches. They do not eat the contents and instead use their spare change to buy junk food from the vending machines.

 

School Cafeteria Food is Important

healthy food

Because of this lunch Delima, many schools have lobbied to keep vending machines away from schools. Sugary drinks have become normalized, and children view them as something that is meant to be a part of the diet. The truth is, those drinks are unhealthy and can later cause health problems such as diabetes and a fatty liver.

Children who eat healthy food have proven to learn better. That is why parents should endeavor to make the lunches that they pack for their kids full of exciting options. It does no good if the children have healthy food in their lunches, but they do not enjoy what is packed. Parents should take the time to get to know their child’s healthy food preferences so that the lunches are palatable for the child.

 

Many schools now have cafeterias that offer healthy foods. It is not enough to just provide a hot meal for children. If children are always fed high-fat items such as chicken nuggets and fries, they are not getting the nutrients they need. Deep frying foods takes many of the vitamins out of them. Potatoes are high in vitamin C, but when they are fried, most of the nutrients are leeched out. That means that children are not getting what they need to function properly. Their brains and bodies are being put to use at school, but without proper nutrition, they fall flat and have extreme up’s and downs.

Adults may restrict children from consuming caffeine, but sugar is also a powerful substance that some argue is a drug. It is good in nutritious foods such as fruits, but when it starts being processed and refined, it loses the vitamins and minerals that were present in certain parts of the fruit. It also certainly loses the fiber which is essential for children not to have an upset stomach during the day.

Plan Healthy Food

By planning either packed lunches or cafeteria food that is healthy, it can only help student retention during the day. Food is fuel, and when people start to eat solely for pleasure, they might skip foods that are essential. Parents and school administrators should pay attention to the food pyramid and make sure that they are planning meals for children around it. Lunch is too important of a meal to be skipped by children, and once they get into that habit, then they will be lethargic by supper time. Children’s minds are being kept active at school, and so their bodies should also be fueled sufficiently.

 

Planning healthy school lunches for children is not difficult. It can be more expensive or less convenient, but it is well worth the effort. Part of caring for children is making sure they have optimal nutrition at school and home.

How Can Schools Help Manage Chronic Health Problems?

Child with Crutches

With the percentage of children diagnosed with chronic health conditions on the rise, schools must be actively involved in helping manage these conditions, which often include asthma, diabetes, food allergies, and seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, as well as mental/ emotional conditions, including ADHD. By taking a coordinated and systematic approach to both these students’ education and illness to ensure their needs are met, these students have the ability to reach their maximum potential. Here’s a quick look at five things a school can do to ensure this happens.
 

1. Provide training programs for staff.

School Teacher

All school employees should have a basic understanding of any exceptional student health conditions. There should be information on the child’s condition, necessary precautions, and what emergency actions to take, such as what to do if a seizure occurs or how to administer medications.

2. Offer home bound instruction when warranted.

Currently, no law specifically requires schools to provide home bound instructions to students who are unable to attend school. Unfortunately, this leaves chronically ill students at a disadvantage by setting them up to quickly fall behind. By providing an instructor, or at the very least arranging for assignments via email and online chats/ Skyping with teachers or an entire class, these students can stay caught up in the classroom.

3. Make reasonable accommodations readily available.

Identifying and implementing specific reasonable accommodations that will make it easier for the student to excel in the classroom is crucial. This could be as simple as allowing a student with scoliosis to keep a set of books in the classroom and at home to avoid the strain of carrying them back and forth. Or giving a child with chronic gastrointestinal issues a permanent hall pass that can be used to go to the restroom without waiting to ask for the teacher’s permission. For children with ADHD, this could involve allowing extra time to finish tests, while students with a compromised immune system should be allowed to switch seats if a nearby student shows signs of an illness.

4. Develop and implement an Individual Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan.

An IEP, Individual Education Program, outlines customized learning strategies and goals for the chronically ill student. It can define any support services he or she needs to reach their milestones, such as a qualified tutor. Created by teachers, counselors, and school psychologists, usually with parental input, this may include providing additional time for projects or providing special education services when deemed necessary. A 504 Plan specifies any physical accommodations needed to help the student navigate around the school and receive the same access to school activities, facilities, and instruction as students without a chronic physical disability.

5. Create an Emergency Care Plan.

Emergency Plan

Emergencies, such as a poorly controlled seizure, can happen and are best handled when there is a plan already in place. Any staff members who are in contact with the child should have basic training on what to do, where life-saving medications are kept, and how to notify the office that medical assistance is needed.

In Conclusion

By identifying the special need child and having an emergency plan in place, the school is ensuring that every child can accelerate. After all, this is the goal of education; developing our young people.