Healthy Living, Healthy Learning: What These Schools Are Doing to Encourage Healthier Kids
posted by: Guest Blogger
As the Director at La Petite Academy in Westminster, I have the pleasure of working regularly with children during their crucial early learning years. We work hard to teach children in our schools about the importance of nutrition and physical activity, encouraging them to make healthier choices. Recently our schools were awarded the 2017 Partnership for a Healthier America “Partner of the Year Award.” This past August at our La Petite Academy school in Westminster, we were proud to receive an award from the mayor of Westminster to honor our successful years within the city.
Our curriculum and classroom environment promote healthy living, from the pictures of nutritious food on the walls, to healthy cooking activities, to books that encourage children to eat their fruits and vegetables along with playing outside and being physically active.
Within each classroom, we implement our Grow Fit program throughout the day with curricular activities that support movement indoors as well as outside. These everyday activities not only encourage and promote learning, but they also keep children healthy.
Many of our healthy practices can be carried over to home life:
Stretch – At La Petite Academy, we start the day with three-minute stretches in the morning during circle time to warm up joints and muscles for a safe, fun, and active day. Try it at home!
Participate in organized activities – Engage children in physical activities, such as yoga, soccer, basketball, and baseball. These activities will keep children active and introduce them to the benefits of movement.
Keep toys and gear handy – Fun toys and equipment, such as hula hoops, balls, cones, and bikes will encourage children to play and be physically active instead of being stuck to a screen. Indoors, make tidying rooms into a game. See how many toys can be put away before the buzzer sounds. Tools like a short-handled broom or hand vacuum make tasks more appealing.
Make healthy food choices throughout the day – Healthy foods fuel our bodies and brains. At La Petite Academy, we’re expanding children’s palates as we introduce them to a wide range of healthy foods – teaching them about appropriate portion sizes along the way.
Our school in Westminster has been in business for over 35 years, with over 90 children currently enrolled. We have a total of six classrooms with three playgrounds, all headed up by a wonderful staff of 16 employees. Together, the team’s experience adds up to over 110 years.
Our newly refurbished school features an enhanced environment inside and out that encourages children to stay active and Grow Fit. Families are invited to tour the school and see our Grow Fit program in action! Feel free to call me (303) 469-3818 or visit www.lapetite.com
Andrea Datte is the Academy Director at the La Petite Academy school in Westminster. In partnership with Mile High Mamas.