Opinion
Student Well-Being Letter to the Editor

Homework Assignments to Foster Healthy Eating

September 06, 2016 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Now that school is beginning again, it is important to note that making unhealthy food choices in and outside the home is likely a strong contributor to the high incidence of overweight and obese adults and children in the United States.

To halt this growing epidemic in children, some schools have implemented nutritional programs that teach kids how to make healthy food choices through hands-on learning. However, cultural practices, socioeconomic factors, and lack of nutritional education for children’s parents or guardians can greatly influence and contribute to making poor food choices. And so, what students learn at school may not have much impact in changing the behaviors learned and practiced at home.

It is our opinion that schools should attempt to educate parents and guardians, perhaps by having students bring “homework” home that involves meal preparation. Teachers could provide recipe options and include produce from a local farmer (great for farm-to-school week) or from a student-tended school garden. An assignment could be based on the television show on the Food Network’s “Chopped” for which students could be randomly assigned different ingredients to cook with at home.

Perhaps if educators involved (and also educated) parents and guardians, long-standing dietary habits could be improved for students and those who take care of them.

Julie M. Fagan

Associate Professor

School of Environmental and Biological Sciences

Arianny Nunez, Caela Lenhardt, Jessica Geiger

Undergraduate Students

Rutgers University

New Brunswick, N.J.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the September 07, 2016 edition of Education Week as Homework Assignments To Foster Healthy Eating

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Leveraging Student Voice for Teacher Retention & Development
Join our webinar on using student feedback to improve teacher performance, retention & student achievement.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Quiz Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Teens’ Tobacco and Nicotine Use?
Answer these seven questions about students’ nicotine and tobacco habits.
1 min read
A high school principal displays vaping devices that were confiscated from students in such places as restrooms or hallways at the school in Massachusetts on April 10, 2018.
A high school principal displays vaping devices that were confiscated from students in such places as restrooms or hallways at the school in Massachusetts on April 10, 2018.
Steven Senne/AP
Student Well-Being Q&A A Superintendent Explains Why Her District Is Suing Social Media Companies
Student mental health and behavioral issues have become a major drain on district resources as social media use has risen.
3 min read
Teenage girl looking at smart phone
iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being Opinion When Students Feel Unlucky, Teachers Can Help Change That Attitude
Mindsets matter when it comes to thinking about opportunity. Here’s what new research finds.
Paul A. O'Keefe
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Student Well-Being A Mental Health Screening Saved Students’ Lives in This District
A district that deployed a universal mental health screening was able to intervene immediately with five students who had suicide plans.
4 min read
Vector illustration of a counselor or psychologist holding a clipboard in one hand and an umbrella above in the other over an anxious woman who is tucking her head into her knees with a tangled line hovering above her head.
iStock/Getty