As you know, in order to help our students develop healthy minds and healthy bodies, I am sharing with you the North Carolina lunch time nutritional requirements. Since all of the lunches are coming from home, I thought you may want to review them.
For EACH lunch, the children must have one food from each category: the Milk, Meat, Veggie/Fruit and Grains/Breads.
Food Item 1-2 yrs 3-5 yrs.
Milk ½ cup ¾ cup
Lean meat, poultry, Boneless fish 1 oz 1 ½ oz
OR, alternate protein product 1 oz 1 ½ oz
OR, cheese 1 oz 1 ½ oz
Or, egg (large) ½ egg ¾ egg
Or, Cooked dried beans/peas ¼ cup 3/8 cup
Or, Peanut butter (or similar) 2 tbsp 3 tbsp
Or, Nuts and/or seeds ½ oz ¾ oz
Or, Yogurt, plain or sweetened 4 oz 6 oz
Vegetable or fruit or 100% juice ¼ cup ½ cup
Grains/Breads (enriched or whole grain)
Bread ½ slice ½ slice
Or, Cornbread, biscuit, roll ½ serving ½ serving
Or, Cold dry cereal ¼ cup 1/3 cup
Or, Hot cooked cereal ¼ cup ¼ cup
Or, cooked pasta, noodles, or grains ¼ cup ¼ cup
Even though we have already been serving milk each day during snack time, we will be serving milk at lunch to help with these requirements. Therefore, please be mindful of the remaining requirements that will need to be included in their lunch brought from home.
I go into the classrooms almost everyday at lunch. I must tell you that I am impressed with the food our students are eating. I have never seen a school with so many children eating healthy food everyday. So…good job parents!!! Keep up the good work.
Last week I wrote about Nature Deficit Disorder and its alarming consequences for our children, including mood disorders, attention-span issues and obesity. Not to mention the fact that they miss the benefits of outdoor play, like greater self-esteem, creativity and improved attention span.
But since you enrolled your child in a school like The Grove School and you’re reading this post, chances are you appreciate the value of the great outdoors. Problem is there are obstacles to getting there. Here are remedies for 3 common ones.
Obstacle: Both parents have indoor responsibilities, so no one is available to supervise young kids outside.
- Team up with other parents in the neighborhood or from your child’s class to share supervision.
- Hire a baby sitter specifically for a few hours of outdoor play.
- Try to work outdoors on your laptop while the kids play in a safe area.
- Schedule outdoor time by actually writing “go outside” on the family calendar each week or (ideally) each day.
Here’s something you can schedule today: The National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Backyard Campout.
Obstacle: Indoor enrichment classes leave no time to be outdoors.
Remedies: If the balance seems off, it might be time to reassess. All of the articles I reviewed suggest that an hour outdoors can be as enriching than an hour of instruction indoors. Before you sign your children up for computer summer school, consider camps that focus on unstructured time in the environment, where children are free to use all their senses and play as they wish. Check out The Grove School’s eco-adventure summer program.
Obstacle: I’m not naturally outdoorsy, and I’m not sure where to find nature near my me.
Remedies: Nature Deficit Disorder activist Richard Louv has a wonderful Resource Guide for this. One of his lovely suggestions: “Be a cloudspotter. No special shoes or drive to the soccer field is required for ‘clouding.’ A young person just needs a view of the sky (even if it’s from a bedroom window) and a guidebook.” Check out Gavin Pretor-Pinney’s wonderful book “The Cloudspotter’s Guide.”
Through April, I’ll cover other nature-related topics and activities here in the blog. And I’d love to hear ideas from you. Leave them in the Comments section below.
Children’s health is a topic that gets a lot of attention. You can’t pick up a parenting magazine without finding at least 5 articles about health issues. Unfortunately, even with all of this attention, our children are facing severe and worsening health challenges.
- One out of four children suffers from allergies
- One in ten children has been diagnosed with asthma
- Type II diabetes is being diagnosed in children as young as 10
- 25% of our kids are overweight
- One in twelve children has ADD or ADHD
- One in ninety-one children is on the autism spectrum.
And for the first time in recent history, our children are not expected to live longer than we are. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to help your children move in the right direction on the path toward better health. The following are my top five things to do on your quest for better health. Of course there are more things you can do, and I encourage them, but for the sake of space, here are the top five.
Put good things into your body. This is the number one thing in achieving better health. Our body needs good building blocks. The food we eat should be whole, fresh, organic, clean, unprocessed, and full of nutritive value the way nature designed. We should avoid “edible food like substances” – processed foods full of chemical additives, dyes, and sweeteners (especially artificial).
Our drinks should be clean and pure as well. Water is the best liquid you can put into your body. 75% of your body is water and it needs to be replenished daily.
Get proper amounts of sleep. Sleep is the time that our bodies use to build, process, heal, regenerate and rest. We all need it. Without it our brains, digestive systems, immune systems, and muscular systems don’t work as well. Most children require 10-14 hours of sleep per day (newborns need more).
Have a positive mental attitude. It is absolutely true that our bodies are affected by our attitudes. In order to have a positive mental attitude, children need a home where they feel safe, happy, comfortable and confident. The saying “laughter is the best medicine” is very true. It boosts immunity, thereby making our children healthier. Focus on giving your child an environment where they feel loved, accepted, and confident.
Get plenty of exercise. Children are little balls of energy and they need to move. Kids should be getting at least one hour of structured physical activity and one hour of unstructured physical play per day. It stimulates their brains, balance, dexterity, muscles, and bones. And, it prepares them for a lifestyle of activity as they grow. Children who are active are more likely to become adults who are active.
Make sure the nervous system can integrate all the information coming in. Your nervous system is responsible for reading and adapting to your environment. This is the system that regulates the other four key aspects of good health. Without a properly functioning nervous system, the body cannot adapt to the demands put on it and injury or illness can be the result. The best way to determine if your child’s nervous system is functioning properly is to visit a chiropractor for a check up.
It was a beautiful morning and there were people everywhere. A band played music, the mayor of Cary sampled the fresh and homemade goodies, and hundreds and hundreds of people walked away with delicious and locally grown and made products. Whenever I attend the farmers market, I always get VERY hungry and I also get inspired to cook. Both happened again today.
I enjoyed going from tent to tent and seeing all of the wholesome goods. I was blown away by the quality of the produce, especially the ripe and red tomatoes. Tomatoes are a favorite of mine and these looked delicious. I also enjoyed a nice array of jellies and jams (see photo). Our friends from the Great Harvest Bread Company were there too.
You can also read about it in the Cary Citizen. Of course, you know me, I had to shoot some video as well. You can find it below.
I had a busy Saturday today. First thing this morning, I attended the Push the Pace 5K run to support pediatric brain tumor research. It was well attended even though it was a soggy morning at the park. We provided organic fruit for the runners to enjoy. Of course, I took some video, so watch below.
The Grove School also participated in the Spring Garden Party hosted by the Garden Supply Company. This was a wonderful indoor and outdoor event that provided many fun activities. We were there with one of our sensory tables filled with sand and “fossils” for children to discover. We also provided a little planter with soil and some vegetable feeds. We will be there for the next week as well. Come by and see us. Also, take a look at the video below.
“I wish for everyone to help create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”
This is something we do every day here at The Grove School. Our curriculum teaches kids how to make good food choices. We introduce gardening and the basic concepts of how to grow our own foods. And our daily menus include fresh, nutritious and delicious meals that help children to grow stronger physically and mentally.
In Jamie’s TED Talk, I was most impressed by his idea to have every child leave high school with 10 healthy recipes they can use to cook for themselves as they go through college and life. What a practical and empowering bit of knowledge to instill in our children.
In some parts of the country, getting a few inches of snow is not a big deal. However, in Cary, NC, it is HUGE!
We received snow (and ice) overnight. Many businesses are closed. However, one location in Cary was hopping: Bond Park, the site of some nice big hills…perfect for sledding. It was heart warming to see this morning the hundreds of families with children taking advantage of this rare event.
There was a non-stop barrage of children, both young and old, sliding down the hills on a variety of sliding apparatus. One of the tenents of The Grove School is HEALTHY BODY and today’s sledding activity was a great way to exercise and enjoy some physical activity.
Watch the video and enjoy a smile.
Physical fitness and nutrition go hand in hand. Healthy Me teaches children the importance of physical activity as well as nutritious foods.
The benefits of Healthy Me influence every domain of a child’s development–emotional, social, physical, and cognitive. The Grove School aims to foster children’s self-esteem, build interaction and teamwork skills, develop movement capabilities, and enhance an understanding of what it means to be healthy and physically fit.
Healthy Me Goals
Our school day offers developmentally and individually appropriate experiences that help children gain confidence in their movement and develop healthy lifestyles. Overall goals guiding the program are identified below. These goals address the program’s purpose, and are in alignment with the standards and guidelines set forth by the American Association for Health Education (AAHE) and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).
Our goals for the Healthy Me program are to:
- Improve children’s levels of fitness through movement
- Nurture children’s natural love of moving through playful movement activities
- Enhance children’s understanding of movement concepts, principles, and strategies
- Help children develop the dispositions, knowledge, and interpersonal skills necessary for achieving and maintaining health-related fitness
- Increase children’s understanding of the roles of physical activity and nutritious foods in the body’s performance
- Provide children with information that will positively influence their physical fitness and food choices
- Generate enthusiasm among children and families for healthful living
When the first two schools open in January 2010, our first corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative will focus on tree planting.
We think there are a number of reasons why tree planting is a good fit for The Grove School. It’s something that benefits the local community. It strongly connects to our promise to promote a healthy mind, body and planet. It encourages participation by children, teachers, family, and community members. And there are a number of ways it ties back to our curriculum.
As with any CSR initiative we undertake, tree planting is something that children can do (with adult help, of course!). It also nicely demonstrates cause-and-effect, both in the way a tree grows and in the way a project like this can make a positive effect in a neighborhood.
And of course, we’re THE GROVE SCHOOL—we love trees!