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

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
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
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
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science 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 School Sports Participation Drops, Raising Concern About 'Physical Learning Loss'
But interest in e-sports and inclusive teams is rising.
5 min read
The Michigan City High School Girls Varsity Basketball team hosted a Future Wolves basketball camp for elementary and middle school girls on Saturday, March 5, 2022 at the high school.
The varsity girls basketball team at Michigan City High School in Michigan City, Ind., hosted a basketball camp for elementary and middle school girls last spring.
Kelley Smith/The News Dispatch via AP
Student Well-Being Biden's National Strategy on Hunger: What It Means for Schools
The administration seeks more access to free school meals and nutritious foods. But a universal free meals bill is stalled in Congress.
4 min read
President Joe Biden speaks during the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, at the Ronald Reagan Building, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Washington.
President Joe Biden speaks during the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in Washington on Sept. 28.
Evan Vucci/AP
Student Well-Being Opinion Why Students Give In to Peer Pressure. Here’s How to Help Them Resist It
Punishments like suspension don’t solve behavior problems. These tools are more effective.
Geoffrey L. Cohen
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Student Well-Being Explainer The School Year Is Getting Hotter. How Does Heat Affect Student Learning and Well-Being?
Climate change will lead to more hot school days, and experts say schools are not prepared.
10 min read
With only open windows and fans to cool the room down, students enter their non-air-conditioned classroom at Campbell High School in Ewa, Hawaii, on Aug. 3, 2015. Most of Hawaii's public schools don't have air conditioning, and record-high temperatures have left teachers and students saying they can't focus because of the heat. Hawaii lawmakers are saying it's time to cool Hawaii's public schools. A proposal being considered by the House Committee of Finance would fund air conditioning for Hawaii Department of Education schools and expedite the process to get cooling systems installed in classrooms.
Only open windows and fans cooled the room as students arrived at Campbell High School in Ewa, Hawaii, in August, 2015. Most of Hawaii's public schools don't have air conditioning, even as research shows that heat can depress student learning.
Marco Garcia/AP