On Thursday, October 24 the Lower School celebrated National Food Day with an event dedicated to living and eating well. The event was part of a month long health & wellness initiative aimed at teaching students the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. The event was a culmination of hard work by every department within the Lower School.  Teachers created nutrition related lesson plans, the theater department put together an amazing skit titled “Dude, Where’s My Twinkie?'”, the Physical Education Department organized relay races, and like they do each day, Sage Dining provided a healthy lunch.

One of the things students seemed to enjoy most about the event was the healthy juicing station. They were encouraged to try two different juice combinations, one vegetable (carrot and beet) and one fruit (pineapple and apple).  After trying the juices, students recorded whether they liked, didn’t like or “kind of liked” the offerings.  The results showed that 68% of students “liked” the fruit mixture, 24% “kind of liked” it and 8% “didn’t like it.”  The percentages for the vegetable combination were 53% “like,” 18% “kind of liked” and 29% “didn’t like.”  While enjoying lunch, students and parents watched a video showing the kids participating in healthy activities and lesson plans throughout the month.

One of the many positive outcomes from the month-long focus is students are acutely more aware of making healthy choices. During lunch, they constantly showed off their “healthy plates” and notified others when one of their teachers selected a “not so healthy” item. “Guess what” said first grade student Elle Crawford, “Ms. Kirbo eats candy corn and that has lots of sugar and high fructose corn syrup!”

Another benefit of the event was the opportunity for our students to give back.  As part of the Wellness Initiative, the Atlanta Food Bank helped create new, organic garden beds at the Lower School.  Food harvested from the beds will be donated to Open Hand Atlanta / Good Measure Meals and used to feed those in need.  “What a great event!” said Jess Parsons White, VP at Good Measure Meals.  “I am so impressed with the way the whole school came together for the cause.”  “Teaching kids the value of living and eating well has so many benefits.  I am grateful to be a part of such a valuable initiative.”

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