The Food Service Department also engages in classroom and cafeteria nutrition education in an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle. One example is the funding of a program to get 4th graders and their parents to be more active. For 3 years, the department distributed a book called “Happy Feet, Healthy Food”. This journal-style book was given to the students to document their physical activities and snacks consumed for a year. It provided the student and the parents with various healthy snack ideas and activities they could do as a family. In addition, the Physical Education and classroom teachers incorporated the book into their curriculum.
In 2007, the department sponsored a 5 month long “Walk Around the World to Get Fit” activity. The purpose was to get students active during the winter months. Students recorded the number of steps they took using pedometers we gave them. The cafeteria served low fat versions of popular food items from countries we “visited” around the globe. At the end of the event we had a big giveaway of sports equipment for students at the school posting the most number of steps.
Two schools in the district participated in the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program from 2006-2008. During that time students at the schools received fresh fruit or vegetable as a snack. In an effort to educate the students, nutritional information was sent out to the schools in conjunction with the fruit or vegetable being served. Every year we promote National School Lunch Week with activities for the students at various schools. This year Stevens school sponsored all the activities. Students in grade 1 and 2 made Food Guide Pyramid hats. Students in grade 3 decorated school lunch trays with healthy meals. Students in grade 4 created a beautiful mural for the school hallway.
Students in grade 5 created posters for the walls of the school. On Wednesday October 14, the students participated in an obstacle course event followed by a healthy fruit snack and water provided by the cafeteria. This was followed by an assembly in the gym with guests from USDA, State Dept of Education, Sheehan High School and Yale University. Mascots from the New Britain Rockcats and the Bridgeport Storm also attended the event.
Throughout the years the department has either participated and/or coordinated many nutritional events in the district. For example, the “Healthy Recipe” contest, “A World of Nutrition” poster contest”, held several hands-on culinary events at the Wallingford library, and participated in the Wallingford Schools Health Fair featuring exhibits on milk, food guide pyramid, and nutritious fish.