Teachers to Students: Do As I Do When Making Healthy Food Choices

teacher and lunch Nutrition education in school classrooms as part of local school wellness policies goes beyond informing and influencing students’ food choices. Teachers, also, change behaviors and role model healthy behaviors.  Robin, a teacher at David Barton Elementary School, has invited University of Missouri Extension trained nutrition educators from the Family Nutrition Program into her 2nd grade classroom to provide a series of hands-on nutrition classes. In addition to influencing students’ food choices, she shares how the program has affected her food choices and others at her school: “I’ve gotten to where I buy juice or I buy water so that what I do grab and bring in it’s giving the kids a good model for what they should be drinking. Other faculty have changed as well. We’re all trying to be more health conscious….because we are models for the kids, whether we intend to be or not, they pick up on pretty much everything that you present to them whether you’re intending them to catch it or not.” Watch the video “Show Me Nutrition” and hear Robin’s comments at the 7 minute mark on the video below.

Some self-reported behaviors that teachers adopt or role model for the students include: eating breakfast more often, increased physical activity, being more willing to try new foods and making healthier meal or snack choices. The most current data from 2012 with percentages of teachers reporting these behaviors can be found here on page 34.


Ellen Schuster, MS, RD, University of Missouri Extension


Show Me Nutrition video. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRv55ItKT_o

University of Missouri Extension Service (2012). Family Nutrition Program Annual Report October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012. Retrieved from http://extension.missouri.edu/fnep/reports/FNP_AnnualReport2012.pdf