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My grade 4/5 class hosted the Cooking For Kids program in our classroom. The Health Unit nurses came in for 2 100-minute sessions and talk the kids about proper hand and food washing, using kitchen tools safely, and how to create healthy meals and snacks for themselves. We also watched related videos and did worksheets to prepare beforehand. Healthy recipes went home to parents.
During our Wellness evening, the Healthy Schools Student Club set up a smoothie bar. They learned about proper hygiene while preparing food for others. They also tried out a few different fruit smoothie recipes and served them to their friends and families. It was a great success!
This past spring, we decided to grow vegetables and fruits from seed or by purchasing organic plants from local stores. We attended several workshops and events hosted by TPL. One of the workshops offered organic seeds, soil and cow manure pots. At this workshop we planted heirloom lettuce, golden nugget pepper, red pear tomatoes and Moskovich tomato from seeds. We also planted numerous sweet peppers, other tomato plants and cucumber plants from seeds and seedlings. Some of the plants died and some unexpected ones flourished like an indoor cherry tomato plant. We diligently watered and weeded our plants. Recently we harvested bags of Roma tomatoes but we had to battle some squirrels for our cucumbers (and some tomatoes). This garden was inspired because we wished to ‘grow gazpacho’. Meaning, we wanted to grow all the ingredients to make Spanish gazpacho. Next year, we intend to add garlic to the list of plants we grow.
We learned a great deal about gardening and healthy eating by growing our own garden.
As School Health Champions, we are interested in healthy eating at our school. In January 2019, Mme. Dickey (health teacher) invited Nurse Lorraine (Niagara Region school public health nurse) to visit classes to talk about hand washing and healthy eating. Following the Bright Bites “Paint Your Plate with Vegetables and Fruit” steps, students discussed how they could encourage their friends and family to eat more vegetables. Students participated in activity where a student would name a favourite vegetable. Other students raised their hand if they liked the vegetable. The School Health Champions presented this information to the Snack Committee where Student Health Champions help prepare fresh veggies for snack for all students each day at Our Lady of Fatima. As School Health Champions, we are excited to learn more about healthy eating!
Students at E.I.McCulley love to partake in a variety of different activities! This love of participation and engagement, helped the dedicated teachers at E.I.McCulley start a great new club! The teachers offered the club “You’re the Chef” (YTC) This was a super opportunity for the students to take on responsibilities and learn new roles in the kitchen. Some students stated that they indeed enjoyed the club immensely and definitely loved helping around the kitchen even more at their own homes. Their favourite recipe was Rice vermicelli with greens. We will be passing this information along to the DSBN Summer Heat program, where students can work on their cooking skills.
Here at E.I.McCulley school, we are so privileged to have tremendous students who adore our nature community so much. Grade 2 students in Mrs.Winstanley’s class got the golden opportunity to help EMS (Niagara Emergency Medical Services) and their community gardens plant some fruit and vegetables for both our school garden, along with EMS’s community garden. This news was received by cheers and thrills of excitement by the enthusiastic grade 2’s. Mrs. Winstanley was contacted by the EMS, which was the start of such an amazing project! This was a perfect opportunity for our students, because it is an essential part of the grade 2 healthy eating curriculum, and along with that, children are provided with more healthy options. Now, it’s more likely they will start to enjoy healthy food more, which is our goal. The students have started some projects in their class, but this doesn’t satisfy their need to plant more and help their community continuously!
School Health Champion Clara interviewed Grade 7 students about their experience with You’re the Chef (YTC) program. YTC is a cooking program offered to students to develop skills and confidence in preparing healthy and tasty recipes, emphasizing vegetables and fruit. One of the students’ favourite recipes was the Vegetable Quesadillas. Using fresh peppers made the dish very tasty and colourful. Grilling tortillas was a new skill for some. The melted cheese in the recipe was a familiar taste treat for most students. Students enjoyed working with classmates, learning new roles and responsibilites in food preparation and tasting new food combinations. Having everyone pitch in to make the recipe was fun. The Grade 7 students encouraged the Gr. 6 Health Champions to make sure they sign up for You’re the Chef next year!
In the month of March, the Healthy School Student club and staff promoted Healthy eating. We were fortunate to have the Public Health Dietitian run a workshop for staff about the new Canada’s Food Guide and how they can support students through lessons. At the end of March we held the Great Big Crunch event. Each class read multiple books on healthy eating and the benefit of apples. Posters were made and announcements were done by the HSSC leading up to the event. The entire school was given an apple, they congregated on the playground and they all took a bite at the same time. A video was taken which was posted on twitter.
As a grade 8 student at E.I.McCulley, it is my goal to be as much involved in the school as possible. Looking around the school, I became interested in the Kindergarten Favourites and Likes survey that Nurse Lorraine conducted earlier this year. I know my peers aren’t particularly interested in vegetables, which led me surveying my class! The results were the least expected! 100% of my class, that was present that day, participated in the survey and they all seemed very invested in this topic. This survey also started deep discussions, like their reasoning for healthy food choices they made, etc. In my class, there were 13 favourites and 67 likes! After conducting the survey, I decided to present this data in a new, innovative way. I decided I would step out of my comfort zone and try something new! This keen interest caused me to explore google spreadsheets, something I’ve never used before. I would say, I’m overjoyed that I tried out this platform! I found this platform very simple, convenient, and most importantly, fun to use! Not only has this survey made me realize how important vegetables are, but also introduced me to a very beneficial platform which I will definitely use in the future!
At first, we chatted with our educational assistant, Mrs. Neuman, our librarian Mrs. Upton, and the grade ⅔ homeroom teacher Mrs. Winstanley about our wonderful, inclusive Student Nutrition Program. We found out that Niagara Nutrition Partners assist our breakfast club with funding and guidelines. We decided to get some personal accounts and inputs of volunteers and students who attend the program, and all of their inputs were very positive! Some key facts they stated were, “It feels like home”, “I can always depend on the breakfast club!” and so on. To make sure our breakfast club was the best, we took a look at the “Tips for Student Nutrition Programs”. There we learned many things that we already had included in our breakfast club! Lastly, to make the program more entertaining, we planned to invite our school health nurse Ms. Lorraine! All the participants, including Ms. Lorraine, were very pleased with the time they spent together at the breakfast table. While having fun, they also built relationships, a key to being successful at E.I.McCulley!
On February 21, 2018, Mrs. Upton, a proud teacher at E.I.McCulley, requested Nurse Lorraine, an exceptional health nurse at the school of E.I.McCulley to come and educate students on the vital topic of healthy eating and hand washing. Nurse Lorraine started off with discussing with kindergarteners, the importance of hand washing, which led them thinking into other healthy habits. The intriguing question that was asked was “How can you encourage your friends and family to eat more vegetables?”. A variety of insightful answers were given from the students, including the idea of sharing vegetables with their friends and family, which demonstrates role modelling healthy eating. Thus, we decided to use their ideas and promote eating more vegetables at E.I.McCulley’s Family Fun Night. With the help of Nurse Lorraine and Mrs. Mann Wybrow, the winner of the Metro food grant, this excellent idea was a huge success! Since this brilliant idea was accomplished, we decided to perform the same survey in my grade 8 class. The results were impressive! We hope to give this another chance to promote eating healthy even more, and hopefully, we will use this data in our upcoming Fun Day at E.I.McCulley! Stay tuned to watch the exponential growth of the Jaguar community!
Student Ambassadors from the Healthy Schools Student Club were trained by the Public Health Nutritionist on a presentation about Fruits and Veggies. The students then went to every class in the school to teach the students about healthy and nutritious food and snack ideas.
The school participated in the York region Healthy Lunch Challenge last month. The students learned about different healthy foods and snacks they could pack in their lunches. They tracked their progress over the week and shared their snacks on a large mural in the school.
Prince of Wales N Public School classes ELKP – Gr. 3 participated in a health presentation. Teacher Mr. Blanchard and Nurse Lorraine from Public Health reviewed handwashing and healthy eating. Students were invited to talk about their favourite vegetables. As favourite vegetables were named, students were asked who liked these vegetables, and numbers tallied. A bar graph with favourite vegetables and number of “likes” was produced for each classroom. Samples of some of the favourite vegetables were shared. Students and teachers were excited to enjoy their favourite vegetables with each other!
In December 2018, Mr. Blanchard (Prince of Wales Public School health teacher for primary) invited Nurse Lorraine (Niagara Region school public health nurse) to visit classes to talk about hand washing and healthy eating. Following the Bright Bites “Paint Your Plate with Vegetables and Fruit” Step 1, students were asked how they could encourage their friends and family to eat more vegetables. Many answers were given, including the idea of sharing which vegetables were their favourites.
Step 2 was the conversation about their favourite vegetables, how they preferred them (raw, cooked, sauces, etc.)
Step 3 was an activity where a student would name a favourite vegetable, then other students would be asked to raise their hand if they liked the vegetable. Results were tallied.
Step 4 was to input these results into Excel sheet “Favourite Veggies and Likes”, and post each classes’ survey in their classroom. Platters of favourite veggies were shared together! Teachers and students were pleased to see these favourite veggies introduced and enjoyed in their classroom!
Grade 7 Students and the Agents of Change will take part in a local Water Walk. Students will walk to the local Credit River as part of the project ‘Water: Sacred and Scarce.’ The goal of the project is to raise awareness of water issues in our province and to guide youth (our hope for the future) to find sustainable solutions.
This project will have a positive impact by empowering youth in leadership positions to include traditional knowledge with modern science to bring holistic perspectives on the need to protect our environment and the interconnectedness between animals and the environment. As part of their project work, students will also be participating in the Great Gulp Challenge in March to spark awareness about Tap Water.
In previous years we have held a Magazine fundraising campaign. This year we participated in the Fresh From the Farm fundraising program.
The class and I have explored the amount of sugar in drinks using some lessons from the Sip Smart program. They researched to find the definitions of various forms of sugar. We also checked the labels of various drinks and looked at the amount of sugar in each. We discussed energy drinks and the fact that the daily percentage of sugar is not included on many labels. Eco-Superior, a local organization, also came and discussed tap water. We went on a field trip to our local water treatment plant and learned how we get our clean, delicious drinking water from our taps.
I allow students to have water bottles on their desks and model drinking water instead of juice or other drinks.
Students came up with an idea of bringing in a variety of different vegetables for their peers to sample (radish, carrot, yellow zucchini, cucumber) in order to promote variety and a balanced diet. Classes signed up for a time slot, at which point our team purchased and began prepping the produce. During the food prep we talked to students about proper food handling skills (washing hands thoroughly, wearing gloves, safe practice of utensils, etc.) Our team visited classes and talked about the importance of vegetables and why our bodies need them. Following the presentation they passed out samples and recorded how many students tried each vegetable, and their preferences. Our team was happy to hear that many students had never sampled some of the vegetables, but thoroughly enjoyed the taste. Our team encouraged students to talk to their parents about what they had tried, so that they could add some new vegetables into their diet.
Last year, to fundraise for our student nutrition program, the school hosted a pancakes day. This year, the Healthy Heroes’ team brainstormed ideas for a healthier fundraiser. They decided that students could bring a dollar to wear a hat to school on a specific day. The Healthy Heroes created announcements, posters and an assembly presentation to promote the fundraiser. We raised a total of $268.48. The school reacted positively to this event and many participated. We will continue to plan other healthy fundraisers for next year.
At Jersey we hope to educate our students about sustainable ways to enjoy fruits and vegetables. We were fortunate enough to start an Indoor Garden a few months ago that is taken care of by our Intermediate Students. We are growing beans, carrots and cucumbers. Today we picked several beans and all had a chance to taste them, the results are in and they were delicious. Students also set up a bowl in the Office with a sign inviting staff and visitors to give the beans a taste. Unfortunately our carrots were not quite ready yet – LOL. Growing, taking care of, and eating what we grew has promoted healthy habits that students want to take home to their parents. Many students have even discussed starting a garden in their own communities. This project has encouraged kids to develop life long habits of healthy eating and an enjoyment of trying new vegetables.
During the month of March, we completed the “Eat the Rainbow” challenge. Our Healthy Heroes team created a tally chart with each day of the week corresponding to a certain colour of fruit or vegetable. At lunch hour for two weeks, our members of our team went to each class to determine how many students had brought that given fruit or vegetable colour. At the end of the two weeks, we made smoothies for the two classes that brought the most fruit and vegetables.
Our team created announcements and posters to promote and remind the students of the upcoming challenge.
We had a large number of students participating and our team was really enthusiastic.
On Monday May 7th, Ms. Capewell and 6 students from our Kindergarten Class got together to plan Pea seeds to begin our Outdoor Garden. The six students were able to pot the soil, plant the seeds, and water them. The students decided to start with Peas as they can be planted as soon as the ground can be worked, and will survive in cooler evenings. Afterwards, they went back to their classes and taught the other students about what they planted, and how as a Kindergarten class, they will take care of their plants. We would like to Thank the Healthy Kids Community Challenge for supplying us with everything we need for our Outdoor Garden.
On Tuesday our School celebrated the “French Olympics.” There were many different stations including table tennis, and obstacle courses. One of the stations was a “Crepe Station” where students were able to make their own crepe out of whole wheat flour, and other healthy ingredients. They also were able to choose healthy toppings which included bananas, and strawberries. This experience involved grade 4-8 school and engaged students in a brief cooking experience that was enjoyed by all.
Our You’re the Chef team along side our French teachers were once again cooking up a healthy snack! Yesterday, our Intermediates led “Les Jeux Olympiques” for our junior students, and one station involved a healthy snack of homemade crepes with strawberries and blueberries as the toppings!
The grades 1-2 classes were learning about the Canada Food Guide, and they did a sorting food activity of “Healthy Foods to Eat” and “Sometimes Food to Eat”.
The Grade 3 students at our school were given Facts and Snacks booklet provided by Nutrition Canada. The booklet included recipes for students to make at home with parents. It also provided parents and students with ideas for packing nutritious snacks. This was a great way to spread the word about healthy eating habits at home and at school!
Ms. Arena’s Grade 3 students took part in a demonstration that had a juice box, a can of pop, an electrolyte drink, a bottle of water and a glass of milk. The students were asked to match sugar amounts in a clear cup with the beverages. This helped promote healthy beverage students among the students as they realized how much sugar is in pop, juice and electrolyte drinks in comparison to water and milk.
Ms. Arena’s and Mr. Galloro’s Grade 1 classes got to have some fun being artists while learning about nutrition. They were asked to design a party invitation that had to include food items from the four food groups as the food that they would serve at the party. They were encouraged to decorate their invitation with whatever creative items they could think of. The Grade 1’s were very creative and learned what healthy food options they could serve from the 4 food groups.
During parent council meetings, we now promote water as our beverage of choice and avoid juices, pops and caffeinated beverages. We want to mirror what we are promoting among the students in the school. We are trying to reduce our consumption of sugary beverages and excessive caffeine!
Ms. Abdirizak’s FDK students planted corn, and three types of flowers in their water table a few weeks ago and today we saw a few of the plants sprouting. How exciting!
Our Eco Team has been very busy this year going around to classes giving presentations and putting up new posters on what is recyclable, compost and garbage. They are also weighing the garbage after lunch and recording the data for future presentations. During Nutrition month we sent home a letter to our community encouraging all students to participate in “Litterless Lunch Fridays”. The ECO Team noticed less waste and more colourful, healthier options were in students’ lunches. Keep up the great work to healthier eating habits and protecting our planet. During Nutrition Month we had “Litter-less Fridays
Mrs. Battiston’s FDK class have been growing radishes, basil, beans, grass and flowers all school year in their classroom. They will soon be transplanting the plants to the outdoor garden.
We have a Milk Program at our school where parents can order 2% or chocolate milk for their child(ren) each day for lunch.
During the month of March we had “Coloured Healthy Snack of the Week”. Each week a different coloured fruit and vegetable was sampled for the entire school, and each class tallied who brought in a healthy snack. Teachers noticed more fruits and vegetables were being consumed for snack this month. Happy Snacking!
The Healthy Schools Committee have a bulletin board outside the breakfast/snack room, where they would put up information about healthy eating, exercising, proper hygiene, and ways to stay healthy.
Our grade 7/8 students who participated in the You’re the Chef program last year became our Chef Ambassadors this year. They had the opportunity to teach our grade 3 students the importance of healthy eating and put their kitchen skills and knowledge, and teach the grade 3 students how to make simple, healthy and tasty recipes.
Ms. Arena and Mr. Galloro arranged for a drum fit session with the Grade 1,2 and 3 classes. As part of this fun activity, they asked the students to bring in a healthy snack to have after their amazing drum fit workout. This was promoting fun, physical activity followed by refueling their bodies with a nutritious snack. Fun was had by all and the healthy snacks re-energized them all!
At Woodbridge Public School we offer a breakfast program to our students. We offer three items from the Canada Food Guide – a protein (like 2% milk, cheese, or turkey), a fruit/vegetable and a grain item (like whole wheat pancakes, bagels, English muffins, or tortillas). By providing a nutritious breakfast it gives our students a healthy start each and everyday
On March 1st at 2:30pm our School participated in The Big Crunch for the first time. Our Healthy School Committee washed and delivered a basket of apples to each class, and then an announcement was made, and a countdown was done. The entire school took a bite at the same time. Our staff and students were so excited to participate and some students tasted an apple for the very first time and enjoyed it.
Our school freshly painted new tarmac games for our students to play. So our Healthy Schools Committee has been learning the tarmac games. They have made videos on how to play these games. We have been showing the school at monthly assemblies the videos and informing the students and staff of upcoming events and activities. We also have our Healthy Schools Committee participate in the “PLAY Program” at recess and on Tuesday and Thursday a selected group of students go to the kindergarten pens to teach the kindergarten students new games too. Our Health School Committee is very eager to run these activities at recess and the students are excited to try and play new games.
Ms. Arena’s JK/SK classes got to have some fun packing a picnic basket. The students were given a picnic basket that they had to use to collect healthy lunch choices that they would pick to have with their friends. They had the opportunity to participate in a drama activity while learning about healthy lunch options. They had a great time pretending to go on a picnic with their friends while choosing healthy foods!
Our Luke 14 committee, which is made up of students from Grade 6-8 and volunteer teachers, raises money for Sharelife. Instead of selling treats in school to the students, the students sold bracelets for a loonie. The money raised went to Sharelife and the students got to enjoy a bracelet to wear instead of sugary or fatty treats in their bellies!
Our Luke 14 committee which is made up of students in grades 6-8 and supervised by teacher volunteers, raises funds for Me to We. Instead of selling treats to students, they have come up with the idea of selling civies days throughout the year. This way we limit the non-nutritious treats and encourage raising funds through civies days. It is a great initiative overall as the funds go to a great cause and the students get to enjoy a civies day without their uniform.
We wanted to promote healthy snacks in our school, so we engaged in the Big Crunch. During the big crunch, students of the whole school engage in a moment of LOUD crunching. Two of our Healthy Schools Ambassadors introduced the crunch, and all the benefits of our primary cruncher, the apple! We made sure that all crunchy fruits and vegetables were welcome, and our students didn’t disappoint, there were apples, carrots, celery, oh my! It wouldn’t have been possible without our wonderful secretary, Cathy Consiglio, who is always promoting healthy snacks by ordering only the best for our healthy snack program. Thank you for your continued hard and mindful work, Cathy!
There is a no treats and no food sharing policy in our school. At Christmas, the school administration and volunteer teachers organize a sing-along in the gym on the last day of school in December to celebrate the Christmas season. This is in place of classroom Christmas parties and where treats would be featured. This promotes school community, fun and singing without the added sugar and fat that we would usually see in treats.
For Halloween, the parent council funds a Halloween dance for all the grades. Divisions attend an assigned time during the day to go to the gym where there is a DJ playing music. The students are encouraged to dress up and there are no treats allowed other than the treat of dancing with their friends. This is another way to promote physical activity and discourage celebrating a holiday with sugary treats.
For the first time, Elder’s Mills invited students to join the Healthy Schools Ambassadors club, which would promote healthy schools initiatives surrounding mental health, physical activity, and healthy eating. Our first order of business was to get trained – and thankfully we had the help of the wonderful Nancy Bevilacqua. Nancy, our Public Health Nutritionist, led us in the Healthy School Ambassador training which taught us how to positively promote good nutritional practices in our school. She gave us great ideas to get started and ignited a passion that burned all year long. Thank you, Nancy! And of course, thank you to our dedicated Healthy Schools Ambassadors that received their training, and made sure to keep it in practice all year round! Way to go team!
Elder’s Mills took place in the Healthy Lunch Challenge which encouraged students to pack their own boomerang lunches featuring 3 or 4 of the food groups. Before lunch, grade 4s discussed which foods were part of which food groups. We tracked our progress by listing all the items in our lunch in a graphic organizer. We learned how easy it was to accomplish the goal of meeting the daily recommended food servings for our age groups, and how easy it was to pack a lunch that was delicious AND friendly to the environment!
To promote our nutritional learning, The Healthy Schools Ambassadors challenged students (grades 4-8) to create a healthy recipe for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner that is:
Easy and affordable to grocery shop for,
Simple to prepare,
Fun to cook,
and DELICIOUS to eat!
Students were asked to share their learning about three key nutrients in their recipe, and explain their importance. Through this learning, students became more aware of what foods contained beneficial nutrients to their growth and development. It was a great way to learn how to improve our meals!
Since March is Nutrition month, Mr. Litrenta and Mr. De Bartolo included a healthy eating message in the school newsletter. The insert was provided by our public health nurse and was added to the March newsletter. This was to help promote healthy eating awareness for parents and to help parents encourage their children to choose healthier food options.
WOW! What a transformation, that makeover makes us feel great. This year, our school looked at improving the menu options for our lunch programs by finding the most nutritious meals to recommend to families in our community. We are excited to have our best foot forward with the best menu options available!
To honour our participants in a healthy recipe contest, we offered the You’re the Chef training to our winners! Students are learning new cooking skills to apply towards nutritious recipes that are easy and affordable to shop for, delicious, and a great way for all to join in on the fun and enjoy a good meal together.
Our school participated in the Big Apple Crunch. We wanted to make the event exciting, so the fourth-grade students came up with the idea to record the sounds of the crunches, and make a song! Classes recorded their individual crunches and sent them to a DJ who created our very own Elder’s Mills crunch track, full of our ows, yums, and crunches. We listened to the track over the announcements and reflected on the health benefits of such a nutritious snack. A big thank you to our DJ, Bill Slinnton, and the classes for their recordings.
Our school wanted to promote the love of healthy food so we started a healthy recipe contest! We invited students to look for, or create their own, healthy recipes that would be made and sold at a “Taste of” festival. We had over 30 entries for the festival which included smoothies, healthy poutine, pita pizza, and lots more, and we picked 22 winners! The festival raised $970.00 in 45 minutes that will go towards Healthy Schools initiatives. However, the greatest result was the learning that took place. Students were amazed at how easy and delicious it was to eat their favourite treats, the healthy way. A great many thanks to our wonderful community and engaged students for their efforts in contributing to the festival and competition. A big thanks also to our Healthy Schools Ambassadors, who helped run, advertise, and organize the event. Way to go, Eagles!
In October, the Grade 7 students took part in a field trip to Fortino’s for a cooking session on healthy pizza. The students were taught about healthy pizza topping options versus the poor nutritional value of toppings like pepperoni. The students also made and cooked the pizzas with their healthy toppings and enjoyed eating the end results.
Our school sports teams are being educated and encouraged by the coaches to drink water before and after sports games as part of healthy living. The coaches are teaching the benefits of water to replenish thirst during and after games. They are also asking all students participating in sports games to bring water and not beverages with sugar. This continues to promote our mandate for healthier beverage choices as part of our nutrition campaign.
At our Math Night held in February, the parents attended a math workshop while students were entertained in the gym by a company that hosted a physical fitness obstacle course. For beverages, water was offered rather than juice or pop. This promoted healthier beverage options with less sugar than juice or pop. The water was provided by the parent council and the evening was funded by the Pro Grant and parent council.
This year our school’s fundraiser was Fresh from the Farm which sells fresh Ontario vegetable bundles and fruit to our school community and part of the sales are received by the school and part are received by the Ontario Farmers. As an extension of this, parents were also given the option of purchasing vegetable bundles and/or fruit bundles that would be donated to Second Harvest. This was a great way of helping those less fortunate while at the same time encouraging healthy and nutritious food options for those less fortunate also. Our school’s commitment to advocating Nutrition has extended beyond and into our community!
This year our annual school fundraiser in October promoted healthy eating and support for Ontario Farmers. We did Fresh from the Farm fundraiser which involves Ontario farmers that supply vegetable bundles (carrots, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes) and fruit bundles (apples) for purchase which provides revenue to the school and also provides revenue to Ontario farmers. The fundraiser was a big success! Our school families received fresh Ontario vegetable and fruit which is a great way of promoting healthy eating in our school community. We had volunteer students and parents working together to bundle the packages for pick-up. This was a great team effort for everyone involved and healthy food choices were highlighted!
Eva Spanoyannis who chairs our Hot Lunch Committee reviewed our Catering Menus in January and made changes to ensure better food choices are available on our lunch options. She applied Bright Bites recommendations to Hot Lunch Menus. All lunches comply with PPM 150 guidelines, Just Catering includes a fruit and/or vegetable with each meal, 3 out of the 4 food groups are all included in our lunch choices and we have increased the number of veggies offered in our Hot Lunch Menus. These changes will help to promote healthy eating at lunchtime for our students and discourage poor food choices. The hot lunch program is also a fundraiser for our school.
This year, Ms. Wojewoda’s Grade 1’s planted a bean seed in April. The initiative was part of their science curriculum however, the Grade 1’s are encouraged to plant their bean plants once they grow big enough. This will promote planting and growing vegetables for healthy eating. They are patiently watering and watching their beans sprout and grow and hopefully, by the end of May, the students will be able to bring the plants home to plant in their gardens!
On April 31, the students at Our Lady of Fatima participated in a Fitness Day as a reward for completing the Healthy School Challenge. Soccer Plus hosted the event at the school. The students participated by grade in the gym and had fun activities that involved soccer. It was a great incentive for the students to participate and complete their Healthy Challenge.
Ms. Arena provided her Grade 1-3 students with a dry erase menu planner. The Menu Planner was provided by Dairy Farmers of Canada together with Breakfast for Learning. The Menu Planner encourages the students to plan and track their food choices. It provides the four food groups with examples and provides examples of healthy choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also encourages better beverage choices. The students were encouraged to complete it over a week to be better aware of making healthy food choices.
Ms. Arena’s grade 2’s had the chance to be both artist and nutrition expert when they had to participate in Design a Lunch Box. They were asked to design lunch boxes which had to include all four food groups. This promoted awareness of healthy eating and what healthy choices can be chosen to pack in a lunch box. They were encouraged to pack the choices that they drew in their actual lunches and bring them in for school.
Ms. Arena and Mr. Galloro had their Grade 3 classes complete a comic strip about “One Morning in the Life of a Superhero”. In the comic strip they had to include a healthy aim for four breakfast and a healthy aim for 2 snacks. The students were very creative with their superhero stories and the comic strip promoted them to focus on all four food groups for breakfast and two healthy snack options. It was a fun way to incorporate healthy eating while being creative with writing and drawing.
In October, Mr. Piccone’s and Ms. DaSilva’s Grade 7 students at Our Lady of Fatima walked to our local Longo’s grocery store. All students were asked to bring in a loonie or toonie and together in groups they had to make healthy choices of food items to purchase for the school food drive for the local food bank. This promoted choosing healthy non-perishable food items, working together as a group, using math skills and gaining physical activity by walking to the store. The students had a great time choosing healthy items for those less fortunate!
In January, all classes at Our Lady of Fatima participated in My Healthy Lunch Challenge Week. My Healthy Lunch Challenge promotes the awareness of healthy food choices in a packed lunch with an emphasis on recognizing all 4 food groups. It also encourages fruits and vegetables as part of lunches and primary grades were provided with examples of healthy food options to choose. Students checked off their healthy choices and their sheets were collected and the division classes with the highest participation won a soccer day.
On March 1, 2018, the entire student body at Our Lady of Fatima participated in the Big Crunch to promote eating crunchy apples or other crunchy fruit or vegetable. The activity was coordinated over the P.A. with student leaders in grade 7 so that everyone bit into a crunchy apple or other fruit or vegetable at the same time to make one loud crunch! The activity promoted awareness for healthy snack options and it was a great way to start of Nutrition month in the school.
The month of April and May is a time to plant in vegetable gardens and planters. The students in Mrs. Pezzaniti and Ms. Palmeri planted a variety of vegetables in small pots. The plants were placed by the windows with daily observations made by all each day. Students were assigned the role each day of being the farmer to determine which plant needed water and to supply it with a watering can located by the classroom sink. As the plants grew with the vegetable stalk growing upward and the roots beginning to come through the bottom of the pot, they were sent home with the students to plant in their home soil or in larger pot.
The kindergarten classes at Glen Cedar PS, were encouraged throughout the school year, for the parents to provide their children with healthy food choices. Parents were also encouraged to cut up the fruits and vegetables, thereby enabling the children to access their food in a user friendly fashion. Another focus was to implement the use of containers to hold the food, as the classroom policy is to boomerang everything back home in lunch bags.
On April 23rd, Ms. Lee’s Kindergarten class celebrated Earth day by sharing healthy food choices. Each child brought in a healthy food to share with their 23 peers and a celebration occurred with all students sampling a variety of fruits and vegetables. Some of the food included grapes, bananas, apples, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli and watermelon. It was a great time enjoyed by all.
With the support of the York Region Health Department, Glen Cedar has created a Nutrition policy. After much discussion between the school committee, staff and parent council and the creation of drafts the policy was created. The policy included rewards that are less food oriented, implementation of catered food meeting the standards shared by York Region Health Dietitian Rebecca Davids and that school celebrations with food be limited to two times per year. The full policy is in Glen Cedar’s Policy and Procedure binder.
At Glen Cedar PS, on Tuesday May 1st, 13 students from grade 6, 7 and 8, who had recently participated in the “You’re the Chef” program, met with York Region Health Professionals to further enhance their culinary skills. The education enabled the students to gain a further understanding regarding the teaching skills necessary to transfer their skills to educate younger students in grades 3, 4 and 5 as they made two healthy recipes.
On Thursday May 3rd, Glen Cedars PS educated grades 6, 7 and 8 students taught younger students in grades 3, 4 and 5 to make two healthy recipes. The experience was enjoyed by all. Adults could hear the younger students state “I’ve never tried red peppers before and it’s really good” and “I’m going to make a parfait at home, it’s delicious”.
Thank you to York Region Health Professionals for you support as we educate children regarding healthy eating that includes preparing and creating great tasting food.
Health professional and dietitian, Rebecca Davids, met with members of the Healthy School Committee at Glen Cedar PS to review the food options available for all the students daily at school. These included foods available for the breakfast and snack programs. Rebecca provided healthy options that then provided an healthy choices for the students. Thank you Rebecca for all your support.
During this school year, Rebecca Davids from York Region Health Department, has met with members of Glen Cedar Public School’s Healthy Schools Committee to review the catered lunches that arrive for the students each week. Food include Kid’s Kitchen on Tuesday, Pizza on Wednesday, and Pitas on Friday. It is the strong desire for the students of Glen Cedar, to receive catered food that is high in nutrition thus supporting a healthy lifestyle.
With our recently installed water bottle filling station, we have promoted students and staff to use reusable water bottles and fill up with fresh water to drink. This encourages students and staff to drink more water and limit sugary beverages which have little nutritional value.
For our end of year BBQ our parent council will provide our students with fresh fruit as snacks to balance out our food choices. This provides healthy food options rather than junk food with no nutritional value. We also serve water rather than sugary beverages.
Our parent council funded and hosted a math night for our parents in February. Instead of having unhealthy snack choices, there were real fruit options and cold water. In addition to the math information session for our parents, we had a company come in to provide fun activities and an obstacle course in the gym for our students while the math session was running.
Our school community has a no food for birthdays policy. Rather than bring in treats for birthdays, many classroom teachers encourage the birthday student to bring in a birthday gift of a new or gently used book for the classroom to enjoy.
In January, the school participated in Healthy Schools Challenge week. In each classroom, students were encouraged to pack all four food groups and ensure healthy choices in their lunches. The classes submitted the results of their lunches and were recognized for their efforts in making healthy choices.
At the beginning of the school year, we had a fundraiser for our school. The top fundraising classes from each division were rewarded with a funfilled soccer half day at an indoor soccer facility. This encouraged fun, physical activity rather than treats or ‘fun food’. All those that participated enjoyed the time to move and have fun for their fundraising efforts!
Since March is Nutrition month, we had student leaders provide weekly nutrition announcements to our students. The students that provided the announcements were from Grades 6 to 8. The nutrition announcements were provided by our Public Health Nurse liaison.
An incentive for Glen Cedar this year was to provide an opportunity for students to plant vegetable seeds, observe how they grow and enjoy them. Together, the Healthy School Committee and The Parent Council investigated options for indoor gardening. Grants and financial supports were also explored to support this project and this led to the purchase of the tower garden. Seeds that were planted included gourmet lettuce, cucumber, rainbow chard, cherry tomatoes and sweet basil. As the vegetables grow, students will be provided samples of the harvested crop.
During the school year, 2017-2018, Glen Cedar Public School staff and parents with the support from York Region Health Department, met many times to share ideas and create drafts that led to the creation of a Nutrition Policy. Positive incentives include a daily breakfast with options from the four food groups, healthy snacks provided daily from the food groups of fruit and vegetables and grains. As well, celebrations will occur twice yearly with food included, rewards will be encouraged that are not food oriented and fund raisers will promote a healthy lifestyle.
Health Professionals, Rebecca Davids, Dietitian and Anne Harkonen, Health Nurse, met with Glen Cedar Parent Council and presented information regarding the importance of implementing a nutrition policy at their children’s school. The policy would include the implementation of a daily breakfast prior to school beginning, healthy food choices, available through the school day such as apples, bananas, oranges, carrots and grain choices and celebrations that included food would be limited to two times per school year. The parents were very eager to implement such a policy and were looking forward to seeing the drafts, as they became available, that would lead to the creation of the School Nutrition Policy.
York Region Public Health professionals Rebecca Davids a Dietitian and Anne Harkonen, Health Nurse provided educational supports to the staff of Glen Cedar Public School during a staff meeting. The presentation promoted discussion regarding modeling healthy eating practices and the importance of classroom incentives and celebrations that were healthier with less food emphasize. Conversations occurred that promoted teaching staff to further explore their practices and other ways teaching and celebrating can be implemented.
On Monday February 26th, 2018, the students at Glen Cedar enjoyed healthy food choices that represented different countries, as we all began our school based Olympics. The healthy food choices were provided by the grade three, four and five students, and provided a small sampling of of food choices that are enjoyed in different countries of the world.
The students then proceeded to enjoy outdoor winter Olympic activities, that included hockey, cross country and alpine skiing and dramatic figure skating, representing many of the countries who were part of the Winter Olympics 2018, in South Korea.
All students and staff had fun and learned about healthy food choices around the world and different sports.
During the school year 2017 – 2018,Glen Cedar Public School participated in three fundraisers that contributed to a healthy lifestyle. Through QSP, families were welcome to purchase seeds for planting vegetables and flowers and magazine subscriptions with an array of topics for all family members. The third fundraiser, was courtesy of North Country Meats, which provided an assortment of meat (beef, pork, chicken) and fish (salmon, shrimp).
These fundraisers encourage further enhancement to a healthier lifestyle for all.
As a teacher in a economically challenged school, we have to get creative with the way that we teach. Fortunately we recently had a great opportunity to take 4 students into the community to grocery shop. This was a great Life Skill for many reasons, from budgeting, to choosing the healthiest option. The Teachers reviewed the “Canada Food Guide” with students and explained that we were going to purchase items from at least 3 food groups to ensure our snack was healthy, and met certain criteria. Once the students decided on their menu items which included yogurt, granola, and fruit, they proceeded to the grocery store. There the students examined the packaging to determine which food items were healthiest, looking at the ingredient list to ensure nothing had more the 14 grams of sugar. It was a great learning experience for the students, as they learned although something may look or sound healthy, that is not always the case. Ultimately the students chose plain yogurt, granola, blueberries, and strawberries for their yogurt parfaits.
Yesterday 4 of our Intermediate Students who participated in the “You’re The Chef” Program were asked to prepare yogurt parfaits for a Meeting the following day. They asked for a “Healthy Recipe” to prepare the granola, and The You’re The Chef Program provided one. Students were involved in the process from beginning to end. They washed and cut the strawberries and blue berries, they added spices including cinnamon to the granola, and baked it, and lastly they put it into containers ready to be served. The Yogurt Parfaits were a huge hit.
Ms. Capewell and Ms. Menczel were invited to participate in a Heathy Schools Spring Network Session and because of the amazing work our students are doing around Health and Nutrition, they were selected to prepare the mid day snack. The students prepared yogurt parfaits with original yogurt, granola that they made the day before, and strawberries and blueberries that they washed and cut especially for the event. There were 75 “Healthy Schools Champions” at the meeting, all of which who celebrated healthy eating with a delicious, healthy snack. It was a great “Big Day.”
We have a milk program at our school. It is not a fundraiser because we charge the students the same amount of money that we have to pay for the milk. It is offered to encourage students to make a healthy beverage choice and an alternative to juice and a change from water.
Students can buy either chocolate or white milk. It costs 75 cents.
We have put information on our Healthy Schools bulletin board about making good choices for healthy beverages.
As well, we are planning to use the nutrition wheel and have the focus on beverages. We will have each come up the library and students can take turns spinning the wheel and we can ask questions about beverages. Then everyone can learn a lot more things about healthy beverages.
On our Healthy Schools bulletin board we made it all about beverages and the importance of drinking water rather than sugary drinks. We put up posters and printed pictures off of the internet to show different ways to enjoy water.
We also made announcements talking about drinking water instead of juice boxes and pop. We have a refillable water bottle station and it keeps track of how many bottles of water gets filled up over time. So we tell our friends to bring a reusable water water and fill it up at the water station.
It is helping the environment and helping our bodies by drinking lots of water.
Our school has Your The Chef program. It takes place after school for students in Grade 4, 5 or 6. It is organized by parent helpers and the teachers. It takes place once a week for 4 weeks.
Each week we get to prepare and eat delicious food.
One of our favourite things to make was homemade granola with yogurt and berries. We like making new things at school so then we can take the recipes home and make them for our family.
Each morning we help our secretary fill the snack bins. Each class gets a snack bin. It is a blue bowl and the teacher’s name is written on the outside of the bowl.
Each day there is a fresh fruit or vegetable that goes into the bowl. Our parent helpers cut up the fruits and vegetables for us.
We also put in a dry snack. There are a few things to choose from such as dried cereal, granola bars or crackers.
At the end of the day we go to classses and pick up the empty bowls.
They are always empty. It is important to make sure all the kids in our school have snacks and food to help them learn.
Each morning an announcement is made from our Healthy Schools team.
We have a fruit or vegetable of the week and tell a fact about the fruit or vegetable of the week.
For example, for bananas we made the announcement that the banana skin can be used as mosiquito repellent or to stop the irritation after a bite.
We also make announcements about healthy lunches, snacks, and beverages.
Twenty students from grades five to eight participated in You’re the Chef after school on April 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th for one and a half hour each time. Each Thursday the students prepared four to five recipes that were easy to prepare, healthy in choice and delicious in taste. The students gained insight as they learned to use cooking tools, operate heating equipment and clean up their work stations. Great times enjoyed by all.
On April 17th, 2018, the Healthy Crows of Glen Cedar PS visited grades Junior Kindergarten to grade eight and shared information regarding healthy eating, using the Healthy Nutrition Wheel. Each classroom participated with the Healthy Crows for 20-30 minutes engaging in true or false questions and multiple choice. This led to stimulating conversations regarding personal experiences and personal connections.
On March 28th, 2018 the Healthy Crows, from Glen Cedar PS, participated in a lesson from the Public Health Nurse and Dietitian with the Food Nutrition wheel. This education provided education to support the Healthy Crows to go into classrooms, with the Healthy wheel and provide peer to peer healthy eating and living education.
At our Parent Council in April, the parents enjoyed a delicious fruit tray while discussing important topics. Thanks to the mom who brought the tray!!
Our Healthy School Ambassadors made fruit smoothies for the school. They went to all the classes and offered delicious, healthy smoothies. Thank you to some members of our Parent Council for their assistance.
Our annual Bingo Night was a huge success. Delicious and healthy snacks were enjoyed! !
During the celebration assembly the Queensville cougars created a power point presentation for our door decorating contest. We gave classes a healthy eating category to work on in order to decorate their door. The students learned about healthy eating choices while having fun. One of the classes had the category fruits and they put pictures of all types of delicious fruits.
We started a fundraiser called Fresh From The Farm where students were given order forms to take home. Family’s and friends could order fresh fruits and vegetables which helped us raise money for our school in a healthy way. This encouraged kids to eat more healthy foods rather than unhealthy foods.The parent council really helped organize the fundraiser. The parent council helped with organizing the food, counting the forms and counting the money we raised.
Our healthy schools club was trained by the health unit on how to use the nutrition wheel. We got the classes to come up to the library to talk about healthy eating. We used a nutrition wheel to make it fun. We asked each student to come and spin the wheel and answer the question depending on the category they landed on. The students were encouraged to learn facts about healthy eating. They all received a prize for their efforts even if they got the answer wrong.
This year our school decided to fund raise using Vesey’s Bulbs instead of an unhealthy food. Parents really seemed to have enjoyed this fundraiser and were enthusiastic about planting the bulbs in their gardens. This was a successful fundraiser for our school as we received 50% back from total sales. Using a non-food fund raiser showed students we don’t have to use food all the time to raise money.
Each class was assigned a healthy category with the end goal to work together as a team to create a door design that represents their category. The categories were: Fruits, Vegetables, Drinks, Canada’s Food Guide, Snacks. Teachers worked with their classes to come up with some very creative designs. All classes were winners! Students learned about healthy eating choices in a positive way while expressing their artistic skills.
Glenn Gould considered both the need to increase water consumption as well as ways to promote using reusable water bottles when working towards earning the “water works” badge. The student led nutrition team collaborated on several promotional initiatives including announcements, trivia and a reusable water bottle give away. The trivia and announcements were differentiated amongst divisions so they would match the science curriculum and promote the importance of drinking water! At the end of our week, one student from each division was awarded a cool reusable water bottle to help them stay hydrated.
Our Eco Team leads “You’re The Chef” which is an after-school cooking program for students in grades 5 – 8. We will also be presenting at the York Region Building Nature Connection event later in the Spring to showcase the environmental and ecological benefits of a vegetarian diet.
We have a student nutrition program that runs throughout the school day, which allows students to go down to the office to get a nutritious snack if they are hungry. There is also a breakfast program that runs before school hours twice a week. Both programs involve parent and community volunteers.
As a result of this program, our students always know that don’t ever have to go hungry while they are at school.
Our school has a growing tower in the lobby which currently houses several edible greens such as lettuce, arugula, swiss chard and basil.
In the past, we have tried to grow other fruits and vegetables (tomatoes and peppers etc.), however, we found it difficult to cross pollinate the plants ourselves. After having some discussions, it looks like greens are the way to go!!
We have negotiated a deal with our catered lunch programs to only provide whole wheat crusts for our pizza lunches. We also have subway sandwich lunches and a sushi lunch option. All of these menus include items made with whole grains, vegetables, protein and dairy.
One of our teachers, Ms. Principe, is dedicated to healthy eating and showing students how to eat healthy. She spent some time with some very special students making Minestrone! This brought out confidence in the students participating, and it showed them that healthy eating is easy! Thanks Ms. Principe!
Our Eco Team runs a “You’re The Chef” program for students in Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8. All the items that are prepared by students are vegetarian, fresh, healthy and cost-effective. Students have the opportunity to learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet while also gaining valuable life skills in a fun and safe environment, all free of cost to them. Since a large majority of our students are English Language Learners, a cooking program gives them a chance to practice and learn new vocabulary in a non-formal academic setting.
We are currently running our second round of You’re The Chef!
Ms. Luk @MsHeidiLuk and Ms. Kaul @KaulItADay run the program with support from Ms. Lo! Thank you!!
Several members of our school Council tried and tested different food from various vendors. We then made Salad an option for the Weekly ‘Hot Lunch’ program and it’s a hit!
After a discussion about sugary drinks at a Parent Council meeting in the Fall, St. Raphael the Archangel decided to purchase two Water Fountain stations for our school. They were installed during the March break. The comfort of these stations helps students fill their bottles quickly which in turn allows them to drink more water during the day. One of the Stations is right outside of our gymnasium, so that students participating in sports can easily re-fill their bottle when needed. A big thank you to the Parent Council for the Stations!
On March 1st at 2:45 pm, the entire school took part in The Big Crunch! Apples were delivered to all classrooms and at exactly the same time, the entire student population took a bite from their apple. This was our school’s 10th Year Anniversary of The Big Crunch!!! Well done St. Raphael!
During the month of March, our school decided to make Fridays “Fruity Fridays”. Announcements were made and a notice sent out in our school newsletter, encouraging students to pack extra fruit in their lunch on Fridays. It was a hit!!!
Thanks to all the students for participating!
Ever since registering with the Bright Bites Program, our school has made a conscious effort to change the way that we fundraise. Instead of selling cookies and chips every day at our Snack Cart we have switched to healthier options which include frozen yogurt with real fruit, sherbert made from real fruit, and white 2% Milk. Initially we were concerned the switch would deter students from accessing Snack Cart, however, we have seen quite the opposite. More student are ordering healthier choices, which makes us and them feel better!
Students here at Jersey Public School are excited about our Rank for Bright Bites and are proud of all that they have accomplished. Ms. Capewell partnered with Healthy Kids Community Challenge Georgina who graciously provided our school with 8 large veggie trays. Our Healthy Kid Student Ambassador’s went to each classroom with a veggie tray, explained how well we are doing in our Bright Bites, and handed out a mid-day snack of healthy vegetables to all of the classes in the school. Students were so excited about the treat, and are eager to continue to work hard to earn badges and make healthy life style choices. Thank you Healthy Kids Community Challenge for helping us CELEBRATE our SUCCESS!
Staff at Jersey Public School completed the Metro Green Apple Grant in order to provide a daily snack to students. We received $1,000 to grow our Indoor Garden as well as provide fruits and vegetables every day in the Office at Lunch Recess. We provide a basket with a variety of fruits including apples, oranges, and bananas. We also provide a veggie tray with carrots, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes every day. Many students come to the Office for a healthy snack, and sometimes to supplement their lunches. The snack program at Jersey has helped to nourish our students and open them up to trying new fruits and veggies.
To celebrate our Bright Bites Achievements, we created a section on our Health & Physical Education bulletin board for all to see! This bulletin allows us to keep our school community informed on how we are doing with the Bright Bites Initiative and also helps to inspire others to get involved!
Our Breakfast Program is located in the basement near the kitchen. We have several pop up tables that face the wall to easily and efficiently feed as many students as possible. However, some grade 7 Breakfast Club helpers noticed that the walls were very bare and it wasn’t the most inviting place to sit down so they suggested creating posters to decorate the walls. Ms. Capewell made an announcement that the Grade 7’s read every day inviting each Class to create a poster to decorate the walls of Breakfast Club while also promoting/encouraging and celebrating healthy eating habits. We are still getting poster submissions, however, the posters we have hung have made a huge difference in the space. The students feel like it is “their space” and students who made posters, but have never come to Breakfast Club before have started to come because they feel like they are a part of it. The space is transformed and we cannot wait to continue to decorate it.
Glen Cedar held a Healthy Lunch Challenge during the week of January 22-26, 2018. All classes participated by challenging themselves to pack healthy choices of food to be enjoyed at school. Discussions occurred in classrooms regarding the benefits of eating healthy as it promotes brain power and a body that is ready to learn. Students recorded their thoughts about this challenge through journals.
The Big Crunch was enjoyed by the students and staff, of Glen Cedar P.S. on March 1st, 2018 at 2:30. After each classroom received their supply of apples, an announcement was made by three members of Healthy School Committee, with a count down from ten to zero to encourage everyone to take their first bite together. Discussions occurred in many classrooms regarding taste and how some liked sweet or sour apples.
During the weeks of February 20th to March 2nd, 2018, Glen Cedar classrooms participated in A Door Decorating competition. The theme was Healthy Food Choices and Colour. On March 2nd the students, from the Healthy School Committee, were joined by York Region Health Nurse and Registered Dietitian to judge the doors. The criteria was student generated artwork that included healthy food choices, messages and with a splash of colour. Prizes were awarded to the first place class, a tie between two classes for second place and third place to another classroom. The cheers from the winners could be heard throughout the building.
Each morning, at Glen Cedar, a breakfast program is offered to all students. The healthy food choices include an assortment of grains, fruit and dairy. If a student arrives as the breakfast program is tidying up they are given something that they can eat as they walk to their room, thus enabling them to have a healthy start to their day.
Glen Cedar Public School has a bowl of fruit/vegetables available all day, everyday for students to take from to ensure hunger never occurs at school. The fruit/vegetable options include apples, orange, bananas, carrot sticks and cucumbers.
The Grade 8’s in our You’re the Chef program had the unique opportunity to receive training from Fae Chen, a nutrition educator with York Region Community and Health Services, to prepare them for facilitating the You’re the Chef Jr. program to younger students at our school. They were able to learn cooking techniques from an expert and together created a delicious Carrot and Pear Soup! Students also had some time to look through recipes and plan their cooking session that they will run with some of the younger students in our school!
One of our teachers took the initiative to start a Baking Club on Wednesday nights to have students help prepare food for our morning Breakfast Club Program. This week, our students prepared Whole Wheat Oat Bran muffins for our Breakfast Club on Thursday morning!
Our Healthy Schools Club decided to use this campaign to encourage students to choose more healthy options (e.g. water, fruits and vegetables) in their lunches. To do this, we created posters and made announcements in the school. We also created a Google Slides presentation that we were able to project on the TV monitor in our main hallway. We noticed that many of our Primary students were asking their parents to pack more fruits and vegetables in their lunches. We also noticed more students bringing refillable water bottles to school.
We have few parents who prepare and few teachers who serve healthy snacks to students. Students are excited when it is snack day because they know the snack is going to be delicious. Through the snack program, students are exposed to a wide variety of fresh foods such as: fruits, veggies, dairy products,etc. Since the Healthy School committee started the snack program the school food culture improved significantly.
After being awarded funding from the Metro Green Apple Grant Program, we created a cooking program for grades 4-8 called Chefs at School. Our cooking program teaches students basic food prep skills, as well as delicious and healthy recipes focusing on mainly fruit and vegetables.
Our Grade 5 class participated in
the Healthy Lunch Challenge from January 22-26. The students brought in
healthy snacks and we discussed the importance of eating healthy.
Last week’s final “You’re the Chef” night had students experimenting with “Soups and Salads!” Students made two salads: Tomato & Cucumber Salad and Chickpea Quinoa Salad. They also made Creamy Veggie Soup to go with their salads. Our students had never tried quinoa before, so it was great seeing the kids try something new and liking it! I hope tonight inspires them to introduce quinoa to their families as well!
Last week we continued our You’re the Chef cooking program and did some healthy baking instead! Our theme was “Desirable Desserts” and we made “Baked Apples” and “Cinnamon Crisps with Strawberry Salsa.” Students learned that eating healthy doesn’t mean “no desserts ever!”; especially since there are many healthy dessert options out there as well! Students also learned to troubleshoot when you don’t have a required kitchen tool (potato masher for the strawberry salsa). So students came up with the idea to use a blender instead, which worked out purfect! (Get it? Puree? Perfect?…)!
The students brought in healthy snacks and we discussed the importance of eating healthy.
Our Healthy School Ambassadors had a busy week! During the My Healthy Week Challenge from January 22-26, the ambassadors paired off and visited every class in the school. They brought with them the Healthy Schools Spinning Wheel. The students in each class got a chance to spin the wheel, select a Healthy School topic, and answer questions relating to that topic. It was a lot of fun and very educational.
Thanks to the Ambassadors who are the heroes for this badge. They practiced a script, followed a schedule, and delivered the message with flying colours!!!
Students tracked their healthy eating over the course of a week. They categorized what foods they ate daily from the 4 major food groups.
Thanks to Healthy Kids Community Challenge Georgina who donated all of the items we needed, we have started an Indoor, edible garden at Jersey Public School. This garden will be maintained and cared for by our Intermediate Students, and once the food has grown it will be served in our Breakfast Program. Today we planted cucumbers, carrots, and beans. The students are already extremely excited about the garden, and have asked many questions. We are so excited to start our green thumb journey.
The healthy schools team created a “healthy lunch and snack” tally chart to help classes track which healthy foods they were eating during the school day. The winning classroom was awarded Freggie, our beautiful fruits and veggies creation!
Our Junior Chefs had another successful night cooking after school! Tonight’s theme was “Awesome Apps!” The recipes were again chosen from York Region’s “You’re the Chef” recipe collection: Bruschetta, Herbed Cheese Dip, and Roasted Red Pepper Dip! Students once again got a chance to practice their safe chopping, slicing, grating and mincing skills! We also learned that “basil paste” definitely does not taste the same as “freshly cut basil!” (a.k.a. not a recommended substitute if you can’t find fresh basil at your local grocery store)!
In previous years here at Jersey Public School the Staff were responsible for deciding what was for Breakfast and snack each day. This year, we have involved our students in the decision making. The first thing our students suggested was making a Menu for two weeks to ensure that we could plan, shop, and serve a variety of healthy foods which met the requirements of serving a minimum of three different food groups each day. The students made the Menu’s with staff supervision. For example one day they decided we will serves egg wraps with cheese, carrots, celery, cauliflower, and apple sauce. The next thing we did was began ordering from a delivery service which was school approved to ensure we were only purchasing healthy items. Now our menu has a variety of nutritious foods and the students continue to have a say in what gets made and served for Breakfast and snack each day.
In September our school was the recipient of the Green Apple Grant, we received $1,000 to put toward a student lead Nutrition Program. The idea was that students would prepare healthy, nutritious meals for our Breakfast Club under the supervision of Staff. Any Intermediate Students can participate and on Wednesday 6 Grade 7 & 8 students came out to learn the valuable Life Skill of prepping, cooking and serving healthy foods. This Program will continue until the end of the year with the students preparing a variety of breakfast foods from muffins, quiches, home made oatmeal bars, omelettes, and more! The students confidence has sky rocketed from this Program and the same students continue to come each week (maybe because they get to sample what they are making.) Most recently, students who we wouldn’t have expected to participate are showing up to learn how to cook & make memories with their fellow peers, it’s just a bonus that the food goes toward feeding the rest of the school too.
For Breakfast Club we celebrated winter break by supplying healthy, nutritious food that was exciting for the students to eat. We had “Santa Kabobs,” cheese, kabassa, and crackers in the shape of a Christmas tree, and our Breakfast Club helpers also cut cucumbers into the shapes of stars. The whole school was even more excited than usual to enjoy a healthy breakfast! Improving the quality of food we serve during a Holiday will help students associate healthy eating with Christmas.
Our Healthy Ambassadors met together and brainstormed ideas on how to make our school healthier. They came up with the idea to go around every classroom and make a presentation on healthy eating habits. They also implemented the Spinning Wheel, where students spin a wheel and our Ambassadors ask them questions based on the healthy food topic on the wheel.
Our You’re the Chef program continued last week with the theme Delicious Dinners! Our Grade 8 students cooked up a Rice Vermicelli dish loaded with healthy vegetables (bok choy, carrots, peppers, broccoli) and a Vegetarian Chili. Students also learned how to safely chop, slice, grate and mince various ingredients!
St. Raphael the Archangel organized a Milk Delivery program for students twice a week during the school year. Letters were sent home to parents and it is again very successful.
Students had the choice of white milk or chocolate milk.
A letter was sent home with the grade 6’s at our school for our You’re the Chef Program. It ran every Wednesday for three consecutive weeks. Seventeen students participated. They learned how to wash food properly, cut, and cook. The students made homemade granola, a smoothie, pasta, fajitas, and dips.
Thanks to the moms who volunteered their time to help put this all together!
A letter was sent to all parents in June 2017 to advise them of the Fundraiser Fresh From the Farm, starting on September 6 until October 11th.
The fundraiser was a big success. The students sold bundles of Vegetables for $13 and a Box of Apples for $15. This was the first time we had a healthy fundraiser and were very pleased with the results. St. Raphael the Archangel made over $1,200.00!!!
Thanks to the parents and our Healthy School Ambassadors who came out on the day of delivery to put all the packages together.
Our school Healthy Ambassadors – 13 grade 7 students, met together in the library one day and discussed a plan on how to approach the school with the Healthy School Fundraiser, Fresh From the Farm. They went to each class in the school to present and talk about it . The students prepared their own skits on how to make eating fruits and vegetables fun. They gave students all the information about the fundraiser and answered many questions.
The heroes who helped earn this badge were the grade 7 Ambassadors!
Our Junior Chef Ambassadors – thirteen grade 7 students, were given a refresher course for cooking. Last year they participated in the You’re the Chef Program where they learned how to prepare and cook various types of food.
This refresher course was done and the Ambassadors washed, cut and cooked up a meal in order to teach the grade 4s in the school.
Our Healthy Chef Ambassadors were in charge of teaching all grade 4 students how to cook. Some of the Ambassadors first made a presentation, then supervised the grade 4s on how to make a yogourt parfait and pizzadillas!
The grade 4s really enjoyed preparing the food and the grade 7 Healthy Ambassadors were fantastic leaders!!!
The thirteen grade 7 students in our school who are known as the Healthy School Ambassadors, took part in a morning session training with our school Nurse.
During this session, the students learned and practiced leadership activities and brainstormed ideas on how to get the school involved in being healthier.
Thank you to our Nurse and the Ambassadors!!
At our Parent Council meeting on January 11th, the parents snacked on a healthy vegetable tray and some naturally made fruit juices.
Thank you to the parents who brought in the healthy snacks!
Our school offered a Yoga Night to parents and students. A letter was sent home and the response was positive. Parents and their kids came out, did some yoga, and snacked on some healthy treats while there.
Thank you to the parent volunteers and one of our own teachers for teaching the group!
We have been fortunate enough to be introduced to the York Region “You’re the Chef” program at Jersey P.S. You’re the Chef (YTC) is a hands-on cooking program that develops the skills and confidence for junior and intermediate students to prepare healthy and tasty recipes emphasizing vegetables and fruit. A teacher at our school was trained on how to implement the program, and with the help of another teacher at the school, we started running the program last Thursday after school. We will be running it for 5 weeks, and each week will have a theme (e.g. Breakfast Blast-Off, Delicious Desserts, Savory Snacks, etc.). Last week, we started with “Breakfast Blast-Off,” and students worked together to follow a recipe for “Banana Berry Smoothies” and “Blueberry Pancakes!” We have eight Grade 8 students involved in the program; we are hoping to offer the program again in the spring, where we can offer this program to our junior students by having these Grade 8’s be leaders and facilitate it for them!
Our French Teacher at Jersey Public School realized the importance of teaching about Healthy Eating. In her Intermediate class, she had students follow a recipe written completely in French for healthy banana muffins. This Teacher also taught a lesson in French about healthy eating, and substituting unhealthy ingredients for healthier ones. Her students each had the opportunity to prepare, bake, and of course eat delicious home made, healthy muffins!
After an exciting Health lesson about healthy eating, one of the staff at Jersey Public School decided to make smoothies with her students. The students dissected the typical smoothies you can order from places like Dairy Queen, Booster Juice etc, and discovered just how healthy or unhealthy some of these smoothies are. The Teacher then brought in Greek Yogurt, frozen fruit, and milk to create healthier smoothies. The students had a chance to learn that sometimes what restaurants advertise as “healthy” is actually the opposite, as well as enjoy a healthy alternative.
We created a student led healthy eating club with students from grades 6, 7 and 8. Our goal is to promote healthy eating in our school and to start a healthy eating culture. We named our group The Healthy Crows. We met with our public health nurse and dietitian and learned about school food culture. We identified what some of the food and healthy eating issues in our school and we brainstormed ideas and activities to do improve our school’s healthy eating. We looked at the Bright Bites website and signed up as a team as part of our planning. We started planning our first activity – the door decorating contest.
Last spring we made four different flavours of fruit infused water and then shared with the whole school. Students drank this water at breaks and lunches for two days. We made lemon/orange/lime, mixed fruit, orange, and strawberry/ kiwi. The school also made a bulletin board about about healthy drinking options that was up for one month. As a result fruit infused water has been used for other school events.
Students in the school preplanted some vegetables for the local community garden and their school garden. Someone from a local greenhouse came in and gave them supplies and instructions. They then planted the vegetables in the local town community garden. They also have a school garden that is planted by Healthy Living club members. In the fall we harvested the 6 gardens and made stew and biscuits with them. In the previous year we put put the local vegetables in the fall fair and won a prize.
Our School has a Healthy Living club who decided to plan a healthy picnic for the whole school. We went to an assembly and discussed the four food groups and played a few food games. We asked different classes to bring in whole grain crackers and cheese, milk, yogurt, fruits and vegetables. We bought fruit and made as a club, fruit infused water. We made individual cups of fruit and veggies, crackers and cheese, and had bowls of fruit and cups of yogurt. Students brought in picnic blankets. The whole school participated in the picnic. The healthy living club members were the heroes as they planned and prepared for this.
It’s important to add fruit and vegetables to every meal. We chose to serve carrot sticks and tzatziki dip to the first pizza day of 2018. Giving our Cubs a healthy start to 2018.
STAFF CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON !!!
Today we had our Staff Christmas Luncheon and had a salad bar available with our yummy Lasagna from our friends at the Caruso Club!!!! It was so delicious we forgot to take a picture!!!
Penguin Treats For Teachers
The Kindergarten class assembled some penguin treats made with carrots, cheese, and black olives. They were served on ice. So cute! So creative! What a fun yummy treat for us teachers! We loved them!! Bright Bites it has been so much nutritional fun being part of this great program to raise awareness of healthy eating with our Muskies. We certainly did a lot of healthy eating!!!!! THANKS!!!!
Blueberry Muffins for The Wee Ones
Mrs. Oshell cooked up a storm in her classroom today too! The students made fresh blueberry muffins. With all this cooking today the school was filled was such great aromas! Way to go little ones. Bright Bites include biting into a fresh blueberry muffin!!
Music to Munch By
The Murray Muskies were treated to some seasonal serenade by our local musician from the Sudbury Symphony Jamie Arrowsmith today. Such lovely music to munch by. The violin was enjoyed by all our muskies while having a picnic in the gym. Thank you so much Jamie! We loved the Christmas string medley!
Cook It Up! No! Pop It Up!
Big shout out to Mrs. Neva for popping some healthy corn for us all to munch on while watching the movie Arthur’s Christmas today! It was delicious! It hit the spot!
This FDK class learned the difference between sugary and healthy foods. Using pictures made it easier for the students to see the food and identify what kind of food and determine if it was a healthy choice.
Homemade Apple Sauce
The season is here for cooking up a storm here at R.H. Murray P.S. Students in Grade 1/2 cooked up some applesauce to go with their latkes. Of course it was all gobbled up. The best thing is the only ingredients used was fresh apples and a bit of water. No sugar!!!!
Apple Gingerbread Friends
The Grade 1/2 made gingerbread cookies with a twist! We put chunks of fresh apples in the dough. They turned out just yummy! Great idea little ones!!
A Basket of Goodness and Sweets
Mr. Dewit walked around the school offering candy canes and apples. Students were asked to take one of each! Tis the merry season to try and stay healthy. Bright Bites sure has changed life here at R.H. Murray P.S.
Sweet Potato Latkes
The Grade 1/2 helped Mrs. Salo make sweet potato latkes. We also put grated white potato in the batter! The students enjoyed tasting these Jewish Hanukkah treats!
FILLING STOCKINGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!
Students were invited to fill their lunch bags with apples to bring home for the winter break so they would not go to waste at school!!!!
Holy Cross staff sat down for a healthy meal before our Christmas concert. The staff were leading by example by choosing healthy food like salad and grilled vegetables.We all need to remember even with busy schedules to stop and make time for healthy foods.
With the help of our Facebook page we shared a healthier cookie recipe to try at home. It looks like a great recipe to make with our cooking club too. Thank you to Ms Stirret for giving us a healthier cookie alternative.
Even the youngest students can learn about cooking. This class started their cooking class by learning how to prepare before we cook,safety of using something that can be sharp and always having an adult supervise them. They made apple slices. This may seem simple but it is something they can do at home .
We found a few cubs refilling at the water station. Ms. Visentin reminds her class every morning and afternoon to refill their water bottles. Keeping hydrated helps to keep is focused in class.
We found a recipe for hummus on the Eat right Ontario website that was made with Romano beans instead just the traditional chick peas recipe. Ms. Riutta’s class took part in the cooking lesson. We discussed food and cooking safety when using a blender.
We decided to try out a few recipes from our Adventures in Cooking club. We will begin this program in January but we thought we would practice a few and get the students opinion of what they thought of it. Ms Bardswich ‘s class made fruit salsa. We used a variety of fruit and it was delicious. The recipe got a thumbs up!
Community Helping Kids Make Healthy Choices
The Murray students visited the local grocer store and instead of receiving a free cookie, children are able to grab fresh and clean fruit to eat. Our students are part of the Healthy Kids Club.
Shopping the Perimeter with Some Holiday Cheer
Students drew attention to the importance of shopping the perimeter in the grocery store, by spreading holiday cheer by carolling. Customers enjoyed the healthy explanations and comments provided by our students as they sang.
Learning how to make a great salad
Did you know that the salad bar in our local grocery store is the most popular department and continues to grow in order to meet the demands for a healthy “fast food” option. Grade 7/8 students in Mrs. Neva’s class interviewed the salad bar barista on preparing a variety of delicious salads.
Students visit Battistelli’s Grocers
Mr. Battistelli informed students about the variety of fruits and vegetables available to our community during a recent visit. We also wanted to show our appreciation for all of the community support that Battistelli’s Independent Grocers provides to RHM.
Coach Mike serving up some Refreshing Water
The intermediate volleyball teams challenged the RHM staff to a few friendly volleyball games, as classes cheered everyone on. The RHM staff was triumph in all of their games. Coach Mike rehydrated the students with cold water after all of their hard work.
Caught comparing Nutrition Labels
Lunch supervisors overheard intermediate student chatting about the nutritional facts about their lunch items, especially the sugar content. Our continued healthy eating initiatives are making strong connections in our students daily life.
Parent demonstration on how to easily and painlessly cut up pineapple in order to maximize the health benefits by eating the core that holds most of the vitamins. Also, students learned to easily cut a mango in order to minimize the waste of the precious fruit and make it aesthetically pleasing to the eye. We called them mango flowers! Thank you to Ms. Hamilton who learned these skills cutting sub-tropical fruits during her ten years living in Taiwan.
Christmas is near and our youngest Cubs enjoyed a PJ and movie afternoon. Instead of packaged and sugary treats they enjoyed fresh apple slices while they watched Alvin and the Chipmunks.
We thought we would think out of the box for this next challenge. We have been teaching our students about healthy food and choices so we thought we would put what they learned to the test. We asked via our Facebook page to show us what our Cubs have been cooking. The results were amazing. So many pictures were sent to us that we are still trying to get them all posted. Thank you Cubs for listening and thank you to all our families for keeping this initiative going. Our end result is the same , we want healthy kids!
We are constantly trying to provide healthier choices for our students. For those students who need an extra snack we always have a bowl of fresh fruit ready at the main office .Some days we may have apples or bananas and recently mandarin oranges. Thank you all the parents who have dropped off fresh fruit for our bowl.
Anytime we have a guest in the school we invite the kids to have lunch in the gym. This gives them a change from eating in the classroom. Our last visitor was Joel, Aboriginal lead for the primary schools. The students are so engaged when listening to him, they enjoy to hear his stories. Joel ‘s approach to the students is calming. He always leaves them with a positive attitude.
Mme. Maschio’s FDK class has been listening to music during lunch this year. It add a calming atmosphere to the busiest of the bunch. Recently they have been playing soft Christmas music. It provides comfort and the kids feel happy.
Thank you to all our lunchroom supervisors. You help guide our Cubs in making the best and healthiest choices with their lunch. You encourage them to eat healthy everyday by choosing fresh fruits and vegetables and offering students fresh fruit to those who don’t have any. A fresh bowl of fruit is always ready at the main office for those who choose.
The students helped prepare their snack for their class. instead of preparing just a regular tray of fruit the assembled an Christmas ornament. So much creativity. Adding fruit to a snack is a great idea and even better when you prepare it yourself.
With the help of our snack committee and recipes from Sip Ontario we served all of our students flavored water. The water was flavored with strawberries, blueberries, slices of oranges, lemons and cucumbers. We plan to make this a regular item served with our snacks. When we return from Christmas break the students will help choice more recipes that they would like to try.
The students filled out a drink diary for their Sip Smart Ontario lesson. We had to share Nathan’s.
He does a great job leaving the sugar out of his drinks. We used his diary as an example for other students to learn from. Nathan says he likes to play hockey and he needs to keep his body healthy and fit to play well.
In the past, Levack Public School has had a cafeteria with less healthy food options, like pizza, for sale. This year the unhealthy options are gone. In its place are healthy food alternatives that students can order to help fundraise for the school. Thanks to our parent council we have veggie packed whole-wheat sandwiches for sale. Students can also choose from low-fat protein options like turkey, and low-sodium sauces like mustard. This menu change is exactly what Levack Leopards need to keep energized throughout the day! Thanks parent council!
Today we received a copy of ” Stargold The Food Fairy”. Ms. M read the book to Mme. Maschio’s class. This was a cute story that help the students make a connection to healthy eating. They learned how important healthy food is to our growing bodies.
We neede a fundraiser for the Grade 6 year end trip. Last year we sold candy kabobs this year we made a change and decided to sell popcorn. The students had the opportunity to buy a bag of popcorn during their lunch break.
Rather than selling chocolate bars or candy, grade 7 and 8 students have switched to fundraising using a healthier food option: popcorn! This healthy snack meets all of the provincial healthy schools guidelines. Students discussed the benefits of this low sugar, low sodium option. They recognized that pre-packaged, high sugar foods are full of “empty calories,” leaving them with a short spurt of energy that fades quickly, but no nutrients to give them the energy they need for the day. The class has been selling it every Friday afternoon. Thanks to Landen, Katryna, Marshall, and James who have been our healthy snack sales!
Grade 6/7/8 students love solving puzzles! We have a weekly problem-solving challenge. Normally, the students receive a donut if they correctly solve the puzzle. This week students brainstormed to come up with other healthier prizes that they can win instead. Students decided that mechanical pencils and notepads were an equally worthy, and healthier, alternative. Marshall, Josh, Tyler, and Katryna are our most recent winners. Way to go!
Today was the last pizza day of the year. To make our lunches healthier we gave classrooms bowls of fresh vegetables to eat with their pizza. We are always encouraging our Cubs to add fresh fruit and vegetables to every snack and meal.
In the spring the students planted a garden with green beans and sunflowers. We watched the sunflowers grow and grow until all the seeds appeared. We left the seeds to dry and then we tasted them. I think of few of our teachers and students definitely have green thumbs. Look at all those seeds!
Sudbury Food Bank Cards
Instead of purchasing teacher gifts, we encouraged our parents to pay it forward and instead purchase Sudbury Food Bank cards for $5 each. Through the purchase of this card from the Sudbury Food Bank a Christmas meal has been provided for a hungry person living in our community.
STARGOLD THE FOOD FAIRY
Once our Elf on the Shelf, Marigold, heads back to the North Pole, Stargold will take over in January. Based on the children’s book, Stargold the Food Fairy, each class will go on the exciting adventure by reading the book and we will make our own food fairy that will float around the school with messages of healthy eating! Our Heroes are the Sudbury Health Unit Dietitians who gave us this wonderful book to help spread the message!!!!
For our Christmas Concert, the Grade 6’s created ‘regift’ baskets and sold tickets at the concert to raise funds for the Sudbury Food Bank to help feed our community! We had 7 large baskets to raffle off!
Throughout the month of December, in support of the Kids Helping Kids Food Drive, students collected non-perishable food items for “Falls Food” in Onaping Falls. Students exceeded their goal to brought to school more than 1,000 food items so one of the teaching staff is honouring his promise to be duct taped to the cafeteria wall on Friday, December 22! Great school/community spirit, Levack Public School!
HEALTHY SNACKS FOR THE DANCE
We hosted a Christmas Dance today and had a veggie and fruit tray out for the kids instead of our usual treats of chips or popcorn! Small changes keep happening at MacLeod!!
APPLE CRISP AROMA IS IN THE AIR!!!!!!!!!
Classes participated in a apple crisp extravaganza where they made apple crisp for their whole division!!!!! To keep it a healthy option, very little sugar was used and the classes discussed how simple it is to cut down on sugars and still come out with a very tasty dessert!!!
FRUBAR JUICERY Joining in on the FUN!
Frubar Juicery brought in a class set of smoothies for the Grade 3’s! These smoothies were packed with yummy goodness!!!!
Thumbs Up to Milk
Students are able to purchase white or chocolate milk on a daily basis throughout the school year. Calcium plays such an important role in the development of those young bones!
We have been serving hard boiled eggs weekly in our snack program. They offer that protein that we find is the easiest food group to sometimes skip!!!!
CHRISTMAS DANCE WATER STATION
To keep all of our dancers hydrated, we had a fruity water station set up in the Gym.
The Grade 7’s offered to make some yummy oatmeal to warm up the students on this chilly morning! Oatmeal with fresh fruit is a great way to start the day!!!
READING LOG PARTY SNACKS
The Grade 3’s chose to have apple slices as their reading log party treat!!!!! What a great idea Grade 3’s!!!!! The heroes are our students who decided to have a healthy treat to celebrate their reading accomplishments!!!
Ms Ceccarelli taught a class all about what they drink. The students were surprised to find out how much sugar they have been drinking. They all decided to leave the sugar behind and drink more water.
And Here’s to Reading and Writing!
Teachers have made an effort to give gifts such as Christmas pencils and writing pads and books instead of sweet treats. Thumbs up to Mrs. Schell and Mrs. Salo!
Our Grade 6 students learned how to make smoothies using the frozen bananas and strawberries that were left over from last weeks snack. The also learned about how to use the blender safely and how to clean and prepare their cooking station. The class was thrilled to try these out.
Musical Fruit Salad
The Jk/Sk used rhythm sticks and fruit notes to make a musical fruit salad. Great music lesson Mrs. Schell!
Students in Grade 7/8 fundraise throughout the school year, with a variety of non-food related activities or have for sale healthy food items with proceeds going to their year-end trip to Toronto. This Christmas, students sold hams and contributed items to the penny table at the Christmas Melodies concert in December. This spring the grade 7/8 class is planning a walk-a-thon, meant to encourage healthy, active lifestyles as students seek pledges and walk in neighbouring streets in Onaping Falls.
Healthy Staff Trifle
Mrs. Salo made a healthy berry trifle for the staff diner instead of all kinds of sweets. A variety of berries, yogurt , and cream was used with a sometimes food of white chocolate Christmas trees. We loved the fresh blueberries.
Ms. Reale’s Class created their own vegetable dip by using plain yogurt, cream cheese and a mix of spices. There secret ingredient was a pinch of dry mustard powder. They took turns adding and mixing in the ingredients.
We had our Christmas Outdoor Concert which included fire warm up stations, Santa’s visit, carolling, students performances, and the largest cookie tray ever. We added some festive apples to keep up with healthy eating along with the sometimes food indulgence.
Snowflake Choir Cheer
The Snowflake Choir went to Meadowbrooks to bring Christmas cheer to our community seniors. Instead of having just candy cane treats and hot chocolate they were served some nutritious veggies and dip. Thank you so much to Meadowbrooks for jumping on board and serving healthy munchies. Super community that supports our healthy eating goals!
Eating Fruit & Veg Inspired by Famous Works of Art
Mrs. Schell posted portraits of famous works of art that contained fruits and vegetables to inspire healthy eating during lunch time with her class. Bright idea Mrs. Schell!
At Levack students are awarded using prizes that are non-food related. Student accomplishment is celebrated at monthly character trait assemblies with a focus on the Rainbow Board’s Values. Weekly draws are made for Wolves tickets, honouring students for their efforts in good citizenship.
Mrs. Hamilton shared a wonderful Chinese tradition with some of our younger Muskies. The students were introduced to Pomelos. They got to taste this big grapefruit like fruit. The fruit was cut in such a way that the peel of the fruit can be then worn as a hat. The students had fun trying them on. Tradition is that it will bring one good luck. Thanks Mrs. Hamilton!
Students at Levack eat in the cafeteria and supervising staff have been celebrating the inclusion of nutritious snacks that include vegetables. We celebrate students and their healthy choices and encourage students to complete their meals with healthy sides like carrots, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. Way to go, Leopards!
Turkey Vegetable Soup
What to do with leftover vegetables and turkey? Make a great homemade soup! Hot soup on after our Muskie Skate sure warms one up. Thanks to Mrs. Schell for making this delicious soup.
Coolest Water Bottle
Muskies are using their creativity to bring in the coolest water container to drink their water in. This canteen came out ahead as a pretty cool one! Cool idea Muskie!
101 on Cutting your Veggies and Fruits
Murray Muskies had a great workshop on how to use knives to cut their veggies and fruits. Thanks to one of our parents who was a chef at Sixth Avenue. There really is an art and some safety techniques for sure when cutting up veggies and fruits.
Our final” Good News Report” before the New Year. So many of our students show their great efforts to participate in class and help out classmates during the day. All these student were caught doing something great and they received prizes from our prize box and a Good News certificate to show what great things they have been doing. Great job!
Happy Birthday ! A few of our cubs were celebrating a birthday. They received birthday ribbons to wear for the day instead of sugary treats.
Ms. Visentin’s class had green grapes and strawberries for their snack. A few of our cubs had grape kabobs…or were they light sabers!?! Amazing how a little imagination can make a regular snack like grapes turn into something more exciting. We encouraged a few more Cubs to eat healthy.
We all have our favorite fruits and vegetables. Mme. Mehes’s class had mandarin oranges and pineapple for a snack . They were given a challenge to try canned versions of the same fruit. They were both tasty and they had different opinions of what they liked best. Canned or fresh, this is another great idea to encourage more fruit and vegetables into every meal.
We had a challenge for our grade 6 students in Ms. Rinaldi’s class. Fresh fruit vs frozen fruit. They tried frozen blueberries and frozen grapes. They also tried fresh blueberries and fresh grapes. The class was surprised at how good frozen grapes. What a great idea!
Most of us love apples, fresh and cooked. Ms. Romani’s class tried apples three way. They had fresh apple slices, applesauce and apple slices with cinnamon. We all put apples in our kids lunches but why not try something new. The class favorite was apple sauce followed by cinnamon apple slices.
We had a busy day getting creative . Buses were cancelled , it was too stormy to go out but the students had fun being creative with snacks. We thought of different ways to decorate our Christmas table with fruit. Ms. Bardswich’s class made a Christmas tree of berries. It was beautiful and tasty and a healthy was to bring fruit to the Christmas table.
During our November “try something new challenge”. Each class, yes all 18 of them received a taste challenge. They tried pomegranate, cooked beets and persimmons. Some of these were new things to taste for both students and teachers. Everyone was challenged to try at least one thing and with no surprise to me most of them found something new to like. Way to go Cubs!
Cookie decorating is such a big part of Christmas time. Mme. Henry’s class took on the challenge of decorating without cookies. They made a colourful wreath. It’s a great idea to serve fruit after a big Christmas meal as a dessert. Great work Cubs!
Mme. Maschio’s class enjoyed their morning snack. The fruit was shaped like gingerbread men , candy canes and Christmas trees. We cut up melon in cubes and mixed it in with the shapes. We created a search and find with our snack. The students were very excited to try their snack. Just another great idea to try different types of melon.
Rudolph with your nose so bright…These students took a bite out of watermelon that was shaped like a red nose. Using our imagination to make eating healthy fun. Encouraging our students to make healthy choices is something that is important to us as teachers and parents. This was a very fun way to do it!
Getting our students to make healthy choices all the time can be difficult especially during Christmas time. Mme. Fay’s class had strawberry and green grape kabobs. Serving it in a different way like making kabobs changes the way the kids see the food. It’s no longer just healthy, it’s fun.
Continuing with our theme of C is for Christmas not Cookie. Some of our students were given colour themed snacks .Red is my favorite Christmas colour. Santa’s red suit, big red ribbons on packages , Rudolph’s red nose and strawberries are what I think of when I think of the colour red and Christmas. Ms. Petroski’s class enjoyed a tray of fresh strawberries while watching the snow fall outside. We continue to make great healthy choices while keeping it interesting too. Learning to make snack time more fun makes them want to eat more!
What colour reminds you of Christmas ? Ms. Lucciantonio’s class received red and green as there Christmas theme. Green grapes, honeydew melon and strawberries were their Christmas snack. It didn’t only look beautiful but it tasted great too! Making it fun for our cubs to encourage them to eat more fresh fruit .
With our buses cancelled our students were given Christmas themed snacks . Ms Whalen’s class was given green grapes and honeydew melon. Green has many connections to Christmas like a Christmas Tree Or the Grinch. Another way to make snack time fun. What can you think of that goes with this green theme?
FRESHLY SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE!!!!!!!!!
Our friend made freshly squeezed orange juice for her friends to start their morning off!!!
Mme Riutta’s class discovered that C is not always for cookie. They snacked on cantaloupe. Staying inside all day during a snow day can be dull and boring. Having cantaloupe can brighten your day. Our cubs are making healthy choices and discovering that healthy can be fun!
FOOD DRIVE SUCCESS
Our Mustangs collected 72,314 food items for the Edgar Burton Kids Helping Kids Food Drive!!!!! This food will go a long way to feed the people in our community! Our goal was to get one more can than last year, which would have been 38, 729, but the students here went above and beyond and crushed their goal!!!!!!!!!!!
So proud of all of our Mustang Families!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mme Gaulin’s class enjoyed fruit kabobs. Such a simple thing but somehow this was more exciting than eating fruit out of a bowl! Great way to present fruit in a more interesting way and encourage student to engage in tasting something new.
Mc Cull’s class had strawberries and bananas for snack. Santa Hats! What a great idea and a fun way to eat fruit!
MS Real’s FDK class had watermelon Christmas trees, cantaloupe gingerbread men and honeydew Rudolph noses. Just as good or even better than cookie! So sweet and delicious. Great ideas from our cubs!
Mme Belanger’s class tried special Christmas shaped fruit for their snack. Christmas is coming, no cookies for snack today. Our little elves thought they would save the cookies for Santa !
Too much snow led to buses not running. We thought of a fun way to get creative on a day that could be boring. Every class received a healthy snack as usual but with a twist. Christmas always brings sugar treats , we decided to make fruit our special Christmas treat. Our challenge was “C is for Christmas not cookie!” Each class had a Christmas theme and some students put there decorating skills to the test.
Fruit Salad Tuesday
Muskies brought in a fruit today and some of our Muskies did an amazing job at making fruit salads. It was gobbled up in no time by the students. What a great way to get top nutrients in a glass! Thank you to all our Muskies for contributing to this healthy snack and to our chopping chefs for making it!
Our 4-8 french immersion class had the chance to get cooking in the kitchen. They wanted to use some of their own rosemary in a recipe. The class prepared and baked potatoes with olive oil and rosemary. They also tried a homemade barbecue blend. Students learned how to take on different roles and responsibly in the kitchen from food preparation to their favourite part, food sampling. Bravo, Mme Berardi and the FI students.
Murray Muskies enjoyed a healthy turkey luncheon with all the trimmings. A medley of nutritious vegetables was also served. The grade 7/8 did a super job serving everyone. Thank you staff and Parents for making that all happen!!
Berry Yogurt Parfaits
Keeping up with the festive season the students were served berry yogurt parfaits made by some parent volunteers. The red strawberries on top looked like Santa’s hat. The students loved the nutritious snack. Thank you volunteers!
Way to Go!
Well one of our Muskies proudly went around showing our Muskies in the school the bag of vegetables that he cut and packed up himself. Great example to all of us that healthy eating has taken over our school! Way to go little Muskie!!!
We Did It!
Our Murray Muskies made an amazing effort during our food drive to exceed the target number of canned food that we could collect. Kindness is in our hearts for sure! Kids making sure that less fortunate kids have food to eat. Great job muskies we surpassed our target number!
Sip Smart and Avoid the Sugar!
The grade 7/8 tested a variety of drinks at Science North to find out the amount of sugar in each. After finding out just how much sugar was in the drinks they all whole heartedly agreed water was the best drink of them all. H2O is at the top of their list!
The JK/SK had hands on opportunity to reinforce healthy eating by learning about the Canadian Food Guide. They then sorted food on a plate while following the guide. Thanks to the blue coat instructor for making this activity so much fun!!!!
We had a wonderful school Council meeting. We love to parents engage in what is going on in our school. We also like to enjoy each other’s company . We served a healthy meal of garden salad and wood fired pizza. We also provided either bottled water or sparkling water to keep hydrated. Thank you all parents who come out to our meetings and give us great ideas on how to make our school better and for being great role models and choosing healthy foods.
Our reward box has just been topped up! These are some of the prizes we give to students to celebrate their achievements. Everyone likes to be acknowledged when the accomplish something great. Picking something out of of the prize box is something the kids look forward to.
Every week we honour our students who did something extra special. They may have helped a friend or swept the classroom during clean up time or accomplished something new. We are always so proud of our students.
The Grade 6 students participated in math activities. They were learning math through healthy foods. I’m pretty sure not all the popcorn was accounted for but it was a fun way to practice math and have a healthy snack at the same time. Thank you to St Ben’ s for organizing this activitiy.
We love when our cubs have something important to share. Ollie from Mme Henry’s class was a true professional. He made daily announcements to challenge student to think and choose healthy snack.
As every school knows extra funds to support our students is always needed. The funds are used to boost our snack program , pay for extracurricular activities for our students and so much more. Every year we try to come up with new ideas on fundraising without selling food items. The VIP raffle is one of our most popular fundraisers . The winners receive 4 front row seats to the concert and a reserved parking spot closest to the entrance. A true VIP experience!
During our Christmas Concert, we will have a Silent Auction set up to fundraise for our Cubs. What a great event. We get to enjoy our children perform and show our Christmas spirit by raising a little money in support of our school.
We are getting ready to start our Adventures in Cooking Club in the new year. Before we start we need supplies. We decided with the help of a parent who sells Pampered Chef to host an online party . Through this fundraiser we were able to get supplies like knives , pots , pans, choppers and spatulas to use for our cooking classes and start teaching our cubs about healthy cooking. Thank you Pam for all your hard work!
Freezing fruit is a great way to add it to a smoothie. We took any left over bananas from our snack and froze them . The students learn not to waste but to try fruit in a different way like smoothies.
Our cubs look forward to every snack served.Thank you to our parent volunteers for making another hot lunch day better. This week orange slices for the entire school and staff, one of the kids favorites.
Ms. Whalen’s class took a walk with their water bottles in hand to the water station at Countryside Rd. It gave them to opportunity to learn that it is not so easy for some people to get water depending on where you leave in the world. They also became aware of how important it is to drink water to keep us healthy. It was a long walk but they have a new appreciation for every sip they take.
We have both plain and chocolate milk available for purchase every day through our school milk program.
Students at our school are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles to school to be filled at our filling station. They store their bottles in the classroom for healthy sipping all day long!
REALIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF EXERCISE – The Data IS IN!!!
The Grade 4/5’s have used their data to come to the conclusion that they could be doing more physical fitness in their daily lives and have added that aspect to their class on a daily basis. They will do this survey again in 3 months to see if they have made a difference in their lifestyle!!
GREAT SNACKS PIC COLLAGE
The Grade 2/3’s used the Pic Collage App to create healthy snack posters to put around the school and have sent them to the teacher’s email to share on their smartboards. They came up with great ideas and it was evidence that our work with Bright Bites is educating our students to make healthy choices!!!!
VEGGIE PIZZA FEST
Our ISP class made homemade veggie pizza and a cheese pizza for their friends!!!!!!!!!! They had a great great time shopping for their fresh produce and making their creations! IT WAS DELICIOUS!
SOUP FOR THE SOUL!!!!!!!!!!!
Healthy pots of soup filled with fresh vegetables is a sure way to boost our immune systems and have us ready to battle the cold weather ahead!!
A Dietitian visited our kitchen and showed the students how to make super healthy, homemade biscuits which then they fed to all the staff!!! Thanks so much girls!!!!!
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!!! SUGAR INVENTORY
The grade 8’s did a sugar inventory to see where they stood with regards to sugar intake in their daily food intake. What a surprise to find that our intake far exceeded the daily limit of 2 -3 cubes. This was then shared with the school so we all realize how much sugar we are putting into our diets and what foods to eliminate or decrease to balance our levels!
Great job of educating us all Grade 8’s!!!!!!