These talking points can be used for oral presentations during meetings or for use in written communications. Use them to plan your approach and develop your messages to showcase how Bridges to Wellness can fit into your district. Collect background information on your audience to select the most appropriate messages and to determine the best way to present them to meet your objective. Common target audiences for Bridges to Wellness talking points include administrators, teachers, school wellness committee members, school nutrition staff, the community, and parents.
- Bridges to Wellness is available free of charge on the School Nutrition Association’s website. There is no cost for us to use Bridges to Wellness other than duplicating handouts for students.
- Bridges to Wellness was developed by a team of nutrition and education experts, including several registered dietitians with experience in both classroom-based nutrition education and school nutrition program operations.
- Bridges to Wellness incorporates innovative concepts to tie classroom lessons to cafeteria application. The school meals programs were initially intended as learning laboratories for nutrition education. The school cafeteria provides a perfect opportunity for students to practice and reinforce healthy behaviors learned through age appropriate nutrition education. This is exactly what we need in our school/district.
- Bridges to Wellness lessons are designed in sets of three complementary lessons to cover similar concepts across students in three different grades: 5-6, 7-8, and 9-10. The lessons designed for grades 9-10 are appropriate for all senior high school students.
- Bridges to Wellness focuses on students in grades 5 and above because SNF
and the National Dairy Council determined that few free, nutrition education resources are available for older students. The National Dairy Council also offers additional programs for 2nd and 4th graders that follow a similar format and can be downloaded from www.NutritionExplorations.org.
- Implementing Bridges to Wellness in all three of these age groups exposes students to the same concepts over time, reinforcing key information to help them successfully change their behavior.
- Bridges to Wellness introduces and reinforces key messages in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The lessons focus in particular on the “Food Groups to Encourage,” which are low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that both children and adults eat more foods from these groups to make up for common nutrient shortfalls identified in national nutrition research.
- Bridges to Wellness incorporates skill building in key academic areas to reinforce core curricular areas. These cross-curricular connections are listed in the introduction to each lesson.
- Bridges to Wellness includes a “Nutrition Backgrounder” (make this a link) to provide teachers and school nutrition staff with essential background information to teach the lessons and links to resources for more information on key topics.
- Bridges to Wellness was reviewed by both teachers and school nutrition operators to ensure that the program was age-appropriate, included appropriate teacher resource materials, and realistic in the school environment.