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Heath and Wellness

Creating a Culture of Health and Wellness

Schools play a critical role in promoting the health of young people and helping them establish lifelong patterns of healthy behavior. Good health is essential for learning and retention and the development of strong cognitive ability. And ensuring good health in students has been shown to boost attendance and educational achievement, ultimately setting students up for greater success in school and in life.

Benefits of
Healthy Eating

Improved nutrition in schools can lead to these benefits.

  • Increased focus and attention
  • Improved test scores
  • Better classroom behavior
  • Better understanding of healthy eating behaviors

A healthy breakfast is particularly important for getting a child’s day off to a good start. Eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved cognitive function (especially memory), reduced absenteeism, and improved mood.

With two-thirds of the U.S. adult population and one-third of children overweight or obese, it is important to obtain adequate vitamins and/or minerals in foods and beverages with fewer calories. Schools have both the opportunity and responsibility to ensure that their cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars, and school stores offer only nutritious foods and beverages — that is, foods high in nutrients, but low in calories, fat, sugar, and salt.

Benefits of
Physical Activity

The benefits of getting the 60 minutes or more of physical activity are numerous and include:

  • Helping reduce the risk of developing obesity and related chronic diseases
  • Improving strength and endurance
  • Helping to build healthy bones and muscles
  • Improving concentration and attentiveness
  • Supporting students’ academic performance

Social & Emotional
Well-Being for Students

Schools can support students’ social and emotional well-being and resilience in a variety of ways. Some examples include:

  • Incorporating trauma-informed school policies and practices, which ensure that school employees can identify and appropriately respond to students who may have been exposed to traumatic or stressful events in their lifetime
  • Utilizing positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), which promote effective classroom management and preventive school discipline by establishing positive behavioral norms and organizational supports
  • Implementing restorative justice practices that help students process, learn, and grow from challenging encounters
  • Training students in mindfulness, and incorporating social and emotional learning into classroom curriculum