Recess, nutrition can help kids perform better
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) - Want your student to do better academically? Make sure breakfast and physical activity are part of their day. That’s the key message from a statewide event called the Learning Connection Ohio Summit. Key Ohio school leaders are joining forces to explore the science of nutrition and physical activity and their link to how well students perform in school.
National statistics from The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success Through Healthy School Environments show that only 38 percent of all teenagers eat breakfast every day.
“Schools play a critical role in ending childhood hunger by connecting kids with healthy meals that do much more than provide essential nutrition. They improve a student’s ability to focus and thrive in the classroom,” said Duke Storen, Director of Partner Impact and Advocacy at Share Our Strength. “For example, research shows that the seemingly simple act of ensuring that children get school breakfast offers the potential for students to experience greater academic achievement, increased job readiness and ultimately more economic prosperity for our nation. Stronger, better nourished kids mean a stronger America.”
Rowe will focus on school meals and cognition, exploring the importance of providing access to food, and how a healthy diet relates to schools and their child nutrition programs.
“USDA is focused on improving childhood nutrition through healthier school meals and greater access to school breakfast and summer meals,” said Audrey Rowe, Administrator of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. “Through the leadership and hard work of Ohio Action for Healthy Kids, the American Dairy Association Mideast, Children’s Hunger Alliance and our other dedicated partners, we are beginning to see progress and improvements in the health of our nation’s children, ensuring that America’s next generation is healthy, well-nourished, and able to achieve great things.”
Also on the agenda for this event is discussions on the role physical activity plays in the school day. Additional presentations will include information on the role of recess in school, how to include movement in the classroom and ways to integrate wellness to support the learning environment. Former Ohio State Buckeye & NFL football player, Greg Bellisari, MD; and current co-host of ABC-6 The Football Fever, Doug Lessells will be joining the program to lead a physical activity demonstration and facilitate a question and answer session.
School health and wellness tools such as the “Fuel Up To Play 60” program which encourages students to choose nutrient-rich foods and be active for at least 60 minutes every day, will also be highlighted at the Summit. Children spend 2,000 hours every year in school, which makes it a smart place to encourage kids to eat right and get moving.