by Lily Burgess, 1st-2nd Grade Teacher
Making healthy choices to fuel our bodies at scheduled times is essential and beneficial to growing bodies and minds. But what about the need for snacks outside of those scheduled moments?
Food as fuel has always been open to kids. This year I continue to empower my students to think about that delicate balance of how to eat in the classroom. When met with the inviting observation, “I’m hungry,” I’ve shifted my response away from asking an obvious question, “would you like some of your snack?” Towards a new dialogue: “A working snack is open to you when our classroom is available. Does this seem like a good time to you?” Upon first employing this response, first and second graders shared quizzical looks and pondered allowed an unconvinced ”No?” Or “Yes?” Taking the time up front, together we noticed elements in our room like the current activity, what was coming up next in our schedule and how much time we had until a transition or lunch. Soon, students caught on. Old habits die hard and I have a feeling the phrase “I’m hungry” is going nowhere fast, but in the meantime encouraging students to make healthy plans around how to eat during non-scheduled eating times not only manageable but an opportunity to reflect and learn.
Who knew snack could be so fulfilling?