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Teacher Talk Blog | School Healthy Eating Strategy
21 January 2015 06:33:10 GMT
Champion Nutrition! Using Reward Stickers to Encourage Healthy Eating in the Primary School
Ever since the TV programme Jamie's School Dinners was aired back in 2005, there has been considerable focus, both from the government and within schools themselves, on the quality of food provided for students in the canteen.
Out With the Turkey Dippers and Chips, In with the Fruit and Veg...
Studies have shown that poor diet causes obesity in children, not to mention a wide range of other health-related problems. Links have also been made between poor nutrition and under-performance in school, and as a result, schools up and down the country have been re-evaluating the food on offer in the canteen, and ensuring that it provides a good nutritional balance for the students.
One Major Problem
Of course, in an ideal world, students would all happily consume plenty of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, the reality is somewhat different. Many children, regardless of background or foods that they are 'used' to at home, will choose to reject healthier foods.
This raises the important question: how can children be encouraged to make the right nutritional decision each lunchtime?
Using Reward Stickers to Incentivise Students
A recent study undertaken across 31 schools discovered that, if provided with the right incentive, students were far more likely to make wise nutritional choices.
The study took place over 6 weeks (with four weeks of 'intervention' with stickers and competition) and 600 students took part. Results overwhelmingly indicated that offering incentives, such as reward stickers or small toys, encouraged children to eat fruit and vegetables. Adding an element of healthy competition, such as a chart; with prizes for those with the most stickers, further increased the amount of fruit and vegetables being consumed.
Setting up Some Healthy Competition in the Canteen
If you want to have a go at this in your own school canteen, we've got the perfect reward stickers to encourage your students to get stuck into those fruit and veg. There are plenty of fun activities that you can incorporate with these stickers. We'd be really interested to hear how you get on in your school... and what creative competitions you come up with!