|Health: Eating to Win|
Becky Gerdes, principal
Bamber Valley Elementary, Rochester
Eating to Win:
Promoting a Culture of Health and Wellness
with many great projects, Eating to Win at Bamber Valley Elementary in
Rochester, MN began as the dream of a small number of parents who were
interested in promoting nutrition and wellness among our students. The
idea was simple: create a day of experiences and celebration around the
theme of healthy nutritional choices for students.
district wellness facilitator, building principal, and parents had
multiple planning meetings with the Farm to School program, Rochester
Downtown Farmers Market, Mayo medical students, and the school public
health nurse. Local businesses that supported physical activity and
health were solicited to donate prizes.
Leading up to Eating to
Win day, Bamber Valley students heard daily morning messages about
calcium, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains with discussions about
why these minerals and foods are important. Starting in April, the
school hosts a daily half-to-one mile run before school for students. In
addition to providing important activity, this practice provides
training for the Med-City Kids Run held in Rochester each summer.
Playground supervisors also encouraged all students to run, walk, skip,
or hop one time around the playground equipment before starting to play.
of the day included a poster contest, spirit assemblies, a visit from
Princess Kay of the Milky Way, classroom workshops by an orchard farmer
and a local food co-op, taste testing of healthy foods, activities
related to portion size for healthy eating and a nutrition jeopardy
game. All students received a farmers market recipe booklet and a
placemat showing optimal food portion sizes.
After putting these great programs in place for their students, Bamber
Valley staff also worked to support themselves in ongoing wellness by
re-establishing a staff wellness committee that hosts walking contests,
shares healthy recipes, and plans events involving physical activities
for staff and their families. Next on their agenda is to collaborate
with our vending machine vendors for healthier snack options.
information about Eating to Win day and Bamber Valley’s ongoing
wellness efforts are available on their website: www.rochester.k12.mn.us
<http://www.rochester.k12.mn.us> . Click on the Schools, then
Elementary Schools, then Bamber Valley: Community Groups: Wellness. The
staff at Bamber Valley hopes these ideas inspire your school to find fun
ways to promote a culture of health and wellness too!
Contact Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Published in the MESPA Advocate, May 2012)