School Health Council
School Health Council
"Fit, Healthy and Ready to Learn"
The Southington School Health Council has been established to promote a healthy school environment. Our goal is to recommend healthy lifestyle choices and inform the school community of legislative changes that affect school health.
Nutrition is the process of absorbing nutrients from foods in order to stay healthy and strong. These foods provide life, energy, brainpower and illness prevention. Breakfast is an important source of daily nutrition for students. Studies have shown that children who eat breakfast have increased concentration, are less irritable and perform better in memory tests! Breakfast foods can include milk, fruit, eggs, low-fat yogurt, and carbohydrate rich foods such as cereal or whole grain bread. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy. One serving is equal to:
- 1 slice of bread
- ½ cup of oatmeal
- ¾ cup of cereal (not sugar coated)
- ½ cup cooked rice or pasta
Carbohydrates low in added sugar and high in fiber are the best! It’s important that children fill up on the right type of fuel for their bodies.
Fruits and vegetables are important to maintaining good health. Encourage your child to try a different type of vegetable or fruit in their lunch every day. A few examples include the following:
1 serving of fruit:
- = 1 apple, or pear, or banana or orange,
- = 2 apricots, or plums or small fruit,
- = 4 dried apricots or strawberries
1 serving of vegetable:
- = ½ cup of cooked vegetables,
- = ½ cup of cooked lentils or legumes,
- = 1 cup of salad vegetables,
- = 1 small potato
There are many reasons for everyone to enjoy eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruit. Eating plenty of vegetables and fruit provides energy, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. The CDC has updated its fruits and vegetables Web site to reflect the new Fruits & Veggies-More Matters TM campaign. Visit the FruitsandVeggiesMoreMatters.gov Web site to get tools and information to help you eat more fruits and vegetables each day!
Energy drinks, said to deliver a rapid burst of energy with high doses of sugar, caffeine, and other ingredients such as taurine and guarana, have grown increasingly popular in recent years among adolescents and young adults. The caffeine contained in them is a central nervous stimulant that may cause nervousness, anxiousness, irritability or other similar behaviors. Caffeine can also cause headaches, dizziness, elevated blood pressure and difficulty sleeping.
According to the New England Dairy Council milk is almost twice as effective as commercial sports drinks to fuel the body. Milk is 90% water and a great choice to replace fluids and prevent dehydration:
- The carbohydrate in milk fuels muscles during exercise and refuels muscles after exercise
- The protein in milk contains all the essential amino acids to maintain healthy muscles
- Milk provides potassium needed for normal muscle contractions and to balance body fluids
- The calcium and vitamin D found in milk promotes strong bones
- Milk contains B vitamins that help convert food to energy
For additional nutrition resources go to www.NewEnglandDairyCouncil.org
If you are looking for a healthy energy boost to start the day 100% fruit juice or low fat milk are good choices.
Energy drinks are not available in any of our schools. Food and beverages sold in the cafeterias at all Southington Public Schools are in compliance with the nutrition standards set forth by the USDA. Beverage vending machines contain only bottled water and 100% fruit juice.
A good formula to remember: Food + Sleep + Physical Activity = ENERGY
This information was compiled and provided as a service of the Southington School Health Services. It is not meant to take the place of your doctor’s recommendations.