Recognize Student Achievement
Recognizing and celebrating student achievement is important. Rewards have the ability to reinforce positive behavior. However, when foods like sugary snacks are used as the reward, "reinforcement" has a different nature.
As children develop, they learn to respond to natural hunger and satiety cues. Honing sensitivity to the body's cues for hunger and fullness contribute to long-term healthy eating habits. Learned behaviors, such as eating when a sugary snack becomes available, may interfere with this crucial developmental process. The sugary snacks teach children to eat when they are not hungry. Moreover, those snacks become "competitive foods" that interfere with nourishing meals.
Food is for nourishment to build strong bodies and minds. Rewards for achievement should influence great accomplishment, not imbalanced eating patterns.
Need ideas for an alternative?
- Enjoy class outdoors
- Play a favorite game
- Receive a "no homework" pass
- Get "free choice" time
- Extra recess or art time
- Listen to music while working
- Receive a note of recognition
- Verbal praise
- Read a story
- Earn extra credit
- Be a helper
Excess Sugar Impacts Concentration
Did you know? Excess simple sugars in the diet and a lack of healthy foods can impair a child's ability to concentrate and perform well in school. On the other hand, foods high in fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates like whole grains and seeds improve sustained attention and short term memory in school children.
This information is brought to you by:
- Graduation Matters Missoula
- Missoula County Public Schools
- Missoula Public City-County Health Department