Spring Into Heart Healthy Nutrition and Finish the School Year STRONG!

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March was National Nutrition Month®. If you missed it don’t worry. You can always celebrate. This annual nutritional education and information campaign was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

In our classroom we focused on the idea of “School Garden to Table” by integrating the benefits of garden greens, and other healthy vegetables into a classroom lesson. Our school’s gardening lunch club does an incredible job of growing many native restorative plants and amazing green vegetables such as: dinosaur kale, sugar snap peas, Swiss chard, lettuce, onions, and broccoli to name just a few.

Students were reminded that powerhouse greens may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and possibly cancer according to the American Heart Association. Our class researched the benefits of eating these powerhouse greens along with other powerful fruits and vegetables.

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In April, our class celebrated Earth Day with a simple and heart healthy snack. I brought in a simple vegetable spiralizer as we learned about another simple and inexpensive way to add more vegetables to your meals. Our class made cucumber spaghetti. Everyone tried it and most asked for seconds.

In May, students are showing others on campus the superpowers of eating fruits and vegetables. Students were tasked to create a fruit or vegetable superhero poster to hang up in the school’s lunch line. The goal is to help students who are waiting in the lunch line to make healthier choices when they are faced with many choices. What do you think? Captain Carrot defeating Diabetes Doughnut. Pictures coming soon.

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Journalism in June: Students have started discovering, highlighting, and will be sharing healthy habits found all around campus in our journalism unit of study. Be on the lookout for student articles that will be posted here.

Our end of the year gift from our class to you will be our Healthy Habits Cookbook. We will be collecting heart healthy recipes for you. Details coming in June. It’s a great place to look for new heart healthy summer recipes.

As teachers we have the power to model and teach students how to establish heart healthy eating habits. Thanks for inspiring healthy teachers and students!

 

Everyone’s Moving on Campus With The EduNinja 30 Day Health & Wellness Challenge

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The EduNinja 30 Day Health and Wellness Challenge is going strong.  Teachers have been getting out of bed just a little bit earlier this month to get their sixty minutes of physical activity a day with other teachers, students, and their families before school, at lunch, and after school. It’s been an empowering journey for people to see how great they can feel from working out with friends, knowing what to eat, and getting enough rest. Teachers are realizing that they don’t need fancy equipment, an expensive gym membership, or fancy food to feel good. I’ve also noticed how our earlier pictures have progressed to passive teachers clothed in dark grey and black to dynamic teachers with brighter tops, fun pants, and big smiles. It’s awesome to see what has already transpired in just a few weeks. You rock! Thanks for inspiring healthy teachers and students.

Fourth Graders Are Excited To See Their Healthier School Lunch Options Come To Life

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Last November, after seeing a lunch tray after lunch tray packed with unhealthy food, I decided to line up in the school lunch line and take a few pictures for a week of student lunch trays. I presented these pictures to my class with the question, “How can we make these school lunches healthier?” It was perfect timing since we were three weeks into persuasive essay writing unit about health issues. The idea of making school lunches healthier easily tied to the knowledge students accumulated in researching why you should eat less sugar, why you should eat more vegetables and fruits, and what healthy eating actually does for your body.

The students had two days to use their knowledge to analyze a school lunch tray, research reputable sources, share the positive aspects of it, offer healthier substitutions, and show possibly a bigger solution to solving the problems they witnessed. Our superintendent was eager to hear the fourth graders ideas, so we set up a time for the students to come to school dressed in their best to present their 2-3 minute persuasive presentations individually to the superintendent. Students practiced greeting the superintendent, presenting their information in a thoughtful and engaging way, and thanking him for his time. They were asked a few questions and felt so valued to have their voices hear and to be part of the solution.

These fourth graders are now seeing positive school lunch options and couldn’t be more excited about it. They are so eager to share what changes they are making in food selection with students in other classes and their families at home. From the old lunch trays piled with carbs to the new lunch trays with balanced healthy options no one in class is heard saying anymore while doing the research, “Look at this food on the lunch vendor’s website for adults. They must not care about the kids.” The students feel valued  and healthy. A huge thanks to our superintendent for the opportunity to allow our fourth graders to be heard. Also a huge thanks to our fourth graders who took this research seriously and presented some convincing essays. You inspire.  It’s a great reminder for all of us to choose the healthier options. Thanks for inspiring healthy teachers and students.

Inspired By These 60 Amazing Athletes!

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Words can’t even describe how special today was. I met sixty amazing female athletes who came to take part in EduNinja Fit Club at Ivivva. These athletes ranged from football and rugby players, to dancers and water polo players. I am so honored and grateful that I had the opportunity to spend Sunday morning with all of these amazing girls. A huge thanks to these girls for inspiring everyone with their hard work and dedication. Thank you to the Ivivva crew for all the help in making today so special. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it, and hopefully we can do this again soon. To stay up to date with upcoming events and to sign up for the eduninja30 challenge starting on Jan. 16th please go to eduninja30 on Facebook. Thanks for inspiring healthy students!

 

Momentum Heading Into The New Year

Happy New Year! Can you feel the momentum moving into this new year? There’s so much to be grateful for just thinking about the first couple of weeks in January. It’s phenomenal. I’m excited and honored to be speaking at the Norris School Staff Martin Luther King Jr. Professional Development Day on January 16th about the importance of health, wellness, and kinesthetic lessons to meet the needs of the whole child and whole teacher.

A huge thanks to Superintendent Dr. Skretta who invited me to Nebraska. He’s presented nationally on topics ranging from health and wellness to school safety, instructional leadership, school improvement, and human resources. Dr. Skretta was an invited speaker for the Let’s Move Active Schools national rollout, joining First Lady Michelle Obama on a conference call which included other key leaders in student health and nutrition. Dr. Skretta was an invited participant at the Let’s Move! Active Schools Leadership Roundtable 2014 White House Event sponsored by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. His articles have appeared in numerous publications including NCSA Today, AASPA’s Perspective, Principal Leadership, and English Journal. Thanks to Dr. Skretta and the Norris staff for the invitation to share creative ways of creating meaningful health and wellness changes within teachers and students.

**** I know the weather doesn’t always cooperate in Nebraska at this time of year. I’m sad that I won’t be presenting to the Norris staff this January 16th since the event is rescheduled for the spring.  I look forward to speaking and connecting with everyone at the next big professional development day in the early spring. Thanks again for inspiring healthy teachers and students.

Join EduNinja Fit Club Sunday, January 8th 10:00 a.m. at Ivivva (The Forum Carlsbad)

It’s a New Year and a new you! Get fit and have fun with this high intensity interval training for all ages and levels. This EduNinja Fit Club is a HIIT and a great one to add to your routine. 

WHAT IS HIIT?  HIIT is a training idea in which low to moderate intensity intervals are alternated with high intensity intervals. Exercises in this class range from whole body dynamic bodyweight intervals, to circuits including: jump ropes, light weights, bands, and body balance movements building core strength. This class incorporates everything from sports movements, plyos, agility, strength, and balance. Most importantly, is the strength you gain from training together as a fun, encouraging, hard-working group while independently pushing yourself.

Please plan to stay after the workout if you are interested in goal-setting and q&a. All skill-levels and ages are welcome. Each class is slightly different. Know that you won’t be bored, you’ll leave sweaty, and make a few new friends. Please invite your friends to join us, and we’ll see you Sunday!