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junior lockers at healthy schools

From healthy eating to more sports, we can help our kids to be well for life

One in four children aged between two and 10 are classed as either overweight or obese. By the age of 11 – 15 years old, that’s risen to a third. It is predicted that by the year 2034 around 70 per cent of us will be overweight or obese, and that the number of children and adults classed as severely obese will have soared.

If you work in education, no doubt it’s high on your agenda to promote healthy living in any way you can at school. Teaching children to eat better and exercise more today will help to build a healthier and more resilient community for the future. Here are 10 top tips for getting healthy living into the minds of the children you teach:

  1. Give drinking water freely

Don’t restrict the times your students can access the drinking fountain or tap during the day. Encourage every child to bring a reusable bottle and teach the benefits of plain water over sugary alternatives.

  1. Don’t use food as a reward…

The association between food and feelings of achievement are an unhealthy link which is hard to break once formed. By doing this, you could be setting these children up to grow into habits of comfort eating as adults.

  1. … instead offer non-food rewards

Give stickers, extra break time, free reading time or other rewards to recognise the achievement of the children. Allowing opportunities for physical activities as a reward sends a doubly healthy message.

  1. Encourage healthier celebrations

If children bring treats for their birthdays, encourage them to bring healthy snacks instead of sweets or cake. Fresh fruit, packets of raisins or vegetable crudités can be much better than Haribo or chocolate.

  1. Organise more sports related events

Think outside the box when it comes to playing sports; not every child is particularly thrilled with the prospect of netball or football. Things like dance-a-thons, sponsored car washes and mini golf tournaments can be more inclusive and attractive whilst also promoting physical activity.

  1. Offer junior lockers

Having somewhere to keep their kit so they don’t have to keep lugging it to and from school can make it much easier for children to join in with impromptu offers of physical activity. Junior lockers come in all shapes and sizes and teach kids about responsibility too.

  1. Bring movement into the classroom

Short bursts of activity throughout the day can avoid children becoming lethargic and sleepy as the day goes on. One minute of jumping jacks every hour will not only refresh and revive, it will undoubtedly be hilarious too, or if you’re working on verbs, perhaps they could act them out.

  1. Never use exercise as a punishment

It rarely happens these days, but a whole generation of us grew up being made to run a lap for talking in class, or to do ten push ups for forgetting our trainers. Don’t build a negative association between exercise and behaviour; rather help them see it as a treat.

  1. Teach about healthy lifestyles in class

Include issues such as obesity, healthy diets and the benefits of physical activity in lessons. Help students to identify their own healthy behaviours and encourage them to set personal goals for improvement.

  1. Be a role model

It’s no good preaching healthy living if they catch you scoffing a mars bar at break. Show them how you enjoy getting up and moving and keep snacks healthy and nutritious.

Promoting better lifestyles to the children of today will help create healthier adults for tomorrow. See how your school can improve and talk to us about junior lockers, new classroom furniture and more.

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Last Modified / Updated on: June 27, 2018 at 3:20 pm