Schools as Catalysts: Promoting Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles among Students
Schools play a critical role in promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles among students. With childhood obesity rates on the rise, it is more important than ever for schools to prioritise health and wellness as part of their curriculum and environment. By addressing disparities in access to healthy foods and physical activity, schools can help to improve the health and well-being of their students and create a culture of health that extends beyond the classroom.
Nutrition education is an essential component of promoting healthy eating habits among students. By providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy food choices, schools can help prevent chronic diseases and promote overall health and wellness. Nourishing Schools Foundation has developed a range of nutrition education resources, including games and activities, to help teachers incorporate nutrition education into their curriculum. According to the Rajasthan Midline Report (March 2023), 96% of students reported consuming vegetables and 95% consuming milk and milk products. According to the same report, 90% of students reported playing the Friends and Foes game, where they learned about the different food groups, their deficiencies, and various healthy habits.
School gardens are another effective way to promote healthy eating habits among students. By growing their own fruits and vegetables, students can learn about the importance of fresh, nutritious foods and develop a sense of ownership and pride in their health. Nourishing Schools Foundation has helped to establish school gardens in communities across India, providing students with hands-on learning opportunities and access to fresh produce.
Physical activity is also essential for promoting overall health and well-being among students. According to the Assam Endline Report (November 2022), the percentage of children playing outdoor games or sports once a month has increased by 21 percentage points. We have also seen a decline in the percentage of children who never play outdoor games or sports by 12 percentage points.
Schools play a critical role in promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles among students. Nourishing Schools Foundation has implemented a range of initiatives to address disparities in access to healthy foods and physical activity, including nutrition education and school gardens. These initiatives have positively impacted student health and well-being, demonstrating the importance of prioritising health and wellness in schools. By working together, schools and communities can promote health equity and empower students to make healthy choices for a lifetime of wellness.