How to transform pupils through what they eat

Garth Lenton

Garth is a Year 2 and 3 Maths, PE and MFL Lead with an interest in sustainable eating and the benefits sustainability and healthy eating can have for primary students.

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Garth Lenton, a Year 2 and 3 Maths, PE and MFL Lead shares his classroom strategy to build sustainable and healthy habits in his pupils. By incorporating sustainable diets into their whole school strategy, Garth has seen a noticeable difference in pupils' health as they break unhealthy eating habits at an essential moment in their development. He discusses the benefits of the Eat Like a Champ resources and how they can strengthen the commitment to sustainable eating in his pupils.

Sustainability and nutrition can seem like daunting topics to teach 9-to-10-year-olds. But young people are more and more media-savvy each year, and have an awareness of these topics even if they don’t fully understand them yet. By introducing sustainability and nutrition into the classroom in an open and relatable way, pupils can understand how small changes can have a big impact on themselves and the world around them, and be a great encouragement to live healthier lives. In my experience, the best way to do this is to face the topics head-on, and to find topics in the news that can help to bring a real-life context to the importance of a sustainable diet and how it contributes to their own future.

In order to implement healthy eating we have multiple initiatives, including only fruit and vegetables at break, visitors to the classroom themed around healthy eating, and our School Council discusses health strategies for the whole school. This has had noticeable results in the classroom as pupils are calmer, more settled and ready to learn. Sustainable eating has great links to PE and PSHE, and I make sure that this is connected to their families and home life by giving them homework to build habits in and out of school. My advice for teachers looking to introduce healthy eating and sustainability into the classroom is that you can get children on board by explaining the importance of building healthy habits in an honest and easy way they can understand. 

The need is there to then not only instil sustainable eating habits but also to break bad habits that may have already been developed. Eat Like a Champ is then an extremely useful resource as it helps with this by having put together a series of lessons which are both informative, current and engaging for the children of upper key stage 2. The six Eat Like A Champ lessons are linked to the UK curriculum, meaning teachers can feel confident that the Eat Like A Champ resources are supporting what they have to teach. In addition, ‘thinking’ questions have been provided in the toolkit to encourage pupils to think in-depth about sustainability issues. Pupils can consider and research these questions by themselves, with their family or with classmates.

You can download the resources now at: https://eatlikeachamp.co.uk

 Looking for more resources to support your teaching and learning? Check out the best education technology resources on our sister platform EdTech Impact.

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