Nutrition is something that is crucial in schools and is beneficial to the individuals either working in early childhood and the students who actually attend the center or school. Nutrition is such an important factor when it comes to what students are eating there are so many students that have allergies and are not able to eat certain foods. Nutrition is one of those things that starts when we’re younger as children we don’t think about it we just pretty much eat anything that is around, or rushing to eat all the of the first portion that was served just to get even more on the second portion. As long as I have been working with children I notice that is one thing that hasn’t stopped, I feel like it’s gotten worse over the years and with new generation. Working at the previous center this was a big problem children would rush to eat everything really fast that way they could serve themselves even more and on the first portion at times the class would go and when us teachers were focused on the rest of the children filling their plate up so that way others don’t have a chance to get any. I know that the selection of food was a healthy choice but it was the children not wanting to eat any of the sides which contained vegetables and fruits it was always a race to see who could just eat the main dish. This could be because sometimes certain kids would show up really late into the class, it would be around noon most of the time so that way the students are making it for lunch into nap time and most probably at breakfast at home or decides to skip breakfast that morning. 


“Most U.S children attend school for 6 hours a day and consume as half of their daily calories at school. The school nutrition environment services are part of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC). Model and can help shape lifelong healthy eating behavior”. Having programs that help and pretty much much ensure that healthy life style while being in school is very important making sure that each individual as well even the teachers attending the center or school is something that can encourage everybody throughout. That’s why “Family-style Dining” is very beneficial to have in centers not only is the educator eating this food but also the educator is able to sit down and speak with each of the students about what they are eating being able to interact and have communication about what everyone is eating. Being able to to sit down with each of the individuals can have a huge impact on the children they are able to communicate with others about what is in their plate or maybe food they haven’t tried yet and this could be a first on them trying a certain food.
U.S Department of Health&Human Services 



“Healthy lifestyle attitude begin in the early years. As a food service worker, an important role in helping children develop healthy eating habits from the menus you create to the dishes your serve”.
U.S Department of Health&Human Services 

This in the passage has pretty much resonated with me because in previous research I had mentioned that in Louisiana that their eating habits were not the best, I feel like the children who are still their or have attended this center has not been able to express great eating habits. I remember I gave into eating what was around me because even on lunch breaks their was nothing around that was healthy options even within the center I feel like their was grease and sweets everywhere. I was always on the move cleaning and what not I was the outside teacher so I always ate what something really quick or sometimes not at all because I would be so busy. There were time where I found myself eating in healthy concessions because it was quick but I realized within the weeks of eating not the best I felt sluggish and my clothes felt tighter and I was suffering from stomach problems. I had to find a better way to eat and better options on what to eat I would generally eat before sometimes work so I wasn’t necessarily hungry at times but when I was I would sit down at eat with the children I would eat a piece of fruit and I would carry around my water bottle with water. Children look to the adult to rely on you to offer healthy food choices and model healthy lifestyles, this also stuck with me because it’s try children are like sponges they absorb everything showing that educators can also have health options is very beneficial to children who are present in the class. Teaching students that eating healthy food doesn’t have to be boring it can be fun to try different foods this why food experiments are such great ways to break the ice with different fruits, veggies and just different food that maybe they have tried before and again children are able to break that ice with new foods. Trying different foods can happen at home as well having families be apart of the nutrition is also a really big factor when parents show that they are to wanting to encourage or help I know children get really happy about that as well. 


“CDC recommends that schools implement policies and practices to create a nutrition environment that supports students in making healthy choices”
The CDC / U.S Department of Health&Human Services 

A lot of centers/schools go by this and it is definitely something that should always be beneficial and important, meaning the directors should not allow other foods to enter the building that is not CDC or the implementation of what foods can enter and what foods can’t. I have been in a center where the director would often complain about food that’s not CDC recommend but would allow the parents to let the children in with outdoor foods this was fast food. And I remember thinking to myself that this is not a good thing because what if state where to walk in that is not a good look I feel like their a guidelines for a reason and that they should be followed especially if there is a another child that has an allergy what if that child was around and now they this child’s allergy is advanced due to another food that’s welcomed or school appropriate.                             

“Schools play an important role in helping students establish healthy eating behaviors, by providing:

  • Nutritious and appealing foods and beverages
  • Consistent and accurate message about good nutrition.
  • Ways to learn about and practice healthy eating.

Nutrition education is a vital part of a comprehensive health education program and empowers children with knowledge and skills to make healthy food and beverage choices”.
U.S Department of Health&Human Services 


Having programs and organizations that help with even giving helpful advice on how to have good eating habits I don’t just look at these guidelines for just students but also for adults. Choosing healthier options I know can help with the behaviors of each individual for example if there is an individual who brings and outdoor foods or is choosing unhealthy options outside or school and can certain affect the way that child’s environment and behavior also. 


                       Ensuring better possible options  

U.S Department of Health& Human Services  

CDC Website Exit Disclaimer 

“U.S students receive less than 8 hours of required nutrition education each school year 9, far below 40 to 50 hours that are needed to affect behavior change 10,11. Additionally, the percentage of schools providing required instruction on nutrition and dietary behaviors decreased from 84.6% to 74.1% between 2000 and 2014”
U.S Department of Health&Human Services 

After reading this it really put it in perspective for me that just seeing between the years 2000-2014 was a great decrease with challenging behaviors, now we’re in 2022 and that was about 9 years ago I feel like things have hugely taken somewhat of a decrease but I know some centers and schools allow someone the community and they teach children about nutrition, I wish I could remember the exact name of the program but when I was at the previous center we had someone like that come in. This would allow the children to participate in different ways to keep movement and the food experiment program was also part of this the children absolutely loved this type of routine in the schedule she would be here for 2 days and the children would just become so happy to participate and learn about different nutrition and different activities to help movement. 


                         Nutrition in Curriculum  

I believe that nutrition should be counted with in the current and in the classroom in general wether there are posters hung up of different foods or the pyramid of food groups such a veggies and certain proteins chicken and beef as well as showing fruit. But also expressing that there are other children in the class that may not eat meat because of their culture and that needs to be welcomed as well and also families that maybe vegan, vegetarian or simply just can’t have gluten. It’s definitely important to add more veggies and fruits to the diet there are certain vegetables for example the vegetables Carrots have been to said that they help with vision. 

“in the classroom 

  • Counting with pictures fruits and vegetables. 
  • Learning fractions by measuring ingredients for a recipe. 
  • Examining how plants grow. 
  • Learning about cultural food traditions. 

Nutrition education should align with National Health Education Standards and incorporate the characteristics of an effective health education curriculum”.
U.S Department of Health&Human Services 


                       What does a healthy meal look like? 

Their should be nutritional factors offered when in school or centers there should always have what meals look like portioned as well, making sure that the meals are pleasing to the eye. The previous center I worked at their was a daily schedule of the meals that were going to be prepared and served for each of the classes the meals were the same the meals were alternatives because their were also toddlers that were in the center and they can’t have whole fruits or sandwiches it had to be cut up to the appropriate portion and the percentage of milk also. When the meals where prepared the older children and even the toddlers did not like the the way some of the meals where prepared they absolutely dreaded the meals, I think because their might have been lack of color and the main meals didn’t have any sort of flavor. Even though the children aren’t happy all of us teachers sat with them interacted with what they were eating and us adults ate with with children family style dining.  


“Cafeterias are learning labs where students are exposed to new foods through the school meal program, see what what balanced meals look like, and maybe encouraged to try new foods through verbal prompts from school nutrition staff,( 23) or taste tests. (24-25) cafeterias maybe also decorated with nutrition promotion posters or student artwork promoting healthy eating”. (24.)
U.S Department of Health&Human Services 


         The Correlation Between Nutrition in Schools &Centers 

There are so many correlations when it comes to nutrition and centers and schools there happens to be if this is being taught within the curriculum. Is nutrition being out to the forefront at home because nutritional habits do start at home, I have experienced at the pervious center I had worked at there were many students that weren’t yet open to trying new foods and thought these foods were strange when all of teachers would sit down at each of the table and would eat veggies or fruits or even the main dish the kids that would push their foods away would sit their and actually try the food like it and eat or even if they didn’t like it they still would it. There was the one child who had just started attending the center he was a new student after 2 weeks we would all notice as well as observing what we noticed, he wouldn’t eat any of the food we would sling his plate off the table through a temper tantrum for the whole lunch period even sometimes during nap time it would carry over. His parents would often come in with unhealthy treats such as chips, candy and donuts and this is all he would eat, so when we would have breakfast lunch and a P.M snack he would freak out this was what we was being fed at home so that’s what he was expecting.  

“ Objective to evaluate implementation and effectiveness of nutrition promotion programs using the health-promoting schools (HPS) approach, to indicate areas where further research needed and to make recommendations for practice on this field”.
Dongxu Wang, Donald Stewart, Public health nutrition (16)( 6),(1082-1100,(2013) 


As I had mentioned previously that this is something that is very important to have in the curriculum and just around the classroom also having, books, activities on nutrition and also incorporating this into the center or school. Always going by the guidelines of what that schools or centers standards are and us the educators have to follow that it’s to important not to follow and these are individuals that do rely on us the adults for that encouragement of eating healthy having better nutritional options. 

                                    Self-reflection and conclusion  

After reading and truly learning  more and more and actually obtaining the information that I am learning and research when it comes to nutrition I feel that this is such important stuff when it comes to working in early childhood, nutrition or even for general knowledge when it comes to nutrition for your children this can even be great and beneficial for first time parents as well. When I was younger I don’t think I took nutrition as seriously as I do now because I had no idea what truly went into foods when I was a teenager into adulthood I sort of would pause on how I ate I truly had unhealthy habits as a child. I felt like it truly affect how I would function in school the next morning, when I was a child I never realized how much meat can make you feel so sluggish, I am by no means someone who doesn’t splurge every now and then and will eat something that may have high carb intake. Being an adult and finding ways to eat my favorite foods in different ways such as bake or grill has helped immensely with digestion and being able to feel better waking up and wanting to go in hikes and just overall trying to find ways to better my health. When working at the previous center I had just started started working back here in Colorado Springs ,I had just came back home to Colorado Springs, from Louisiana. I had mentioned previously that the way the children ate was not the healthiest, and Family-Style Dining was not encouraged at this center so when I came back home to my first job back there was Family-Style Dining and the classes that were given through the center spoke about Family-Style Dining.  










The Implementation and effectiveness of school-based nutrition promotion programs using a health-promoting schools approach:a systematic review 

Dongxu Wang, Donald Stewart 

Public health nutrition 16 (6), 1082-1100, (2013) 


Nutrition Organizations/Programs 


U.S Department of Health Human Services  

CDC Website Exit Disclaimer