Physical Education and Nutrition Working Together™ (PE-Nut™) is a nutrition and physical education program that uses a whole-school approach to motivate students, parents, and educators to eat healthy and be physically active. In PE-Nut™, physical educators, classroom teachers, school administrators, and health champions work together to deliver simple, consistent nutrition and physical activity messages via multiple approaches and create environments that make the healthy choice, the easy choice. The program supports the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child approach.
The overall goal of PE-Nut™ is to improve the school nutrition environment and affect healthy behavior change, including:
Individual Behavior Changes
- Increase participation in a physically active lifestyle
- Increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk or dairy products
- Meeting food group needs and choosing nutrient dense snacks (upper grades)
- Try new foods
- Choose healthy snacks
- Wash hands before eating
Classroom and School Environment
- Healthy Classroom Parties
- Non-food rewards
- School staff and Student role modeling
- Healthy classroom and school wide messaging
- Community Engagement
Students who eat nutritious food and participate in regular physical activity are healthier. Academic achievement improves when students receive a healthful diet and can be physically active throughout the school day. PE-Nut™ improves not only students’ health, but also their learning. Evidence from the PE-Nut™ program evaluations indicate that healthier PE-Nut™ students miss fewer days of school and spend class time more “on task.” As a result, teachers’ instructional time is more efficient.
The program’s messaging is consistent with the current U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the National Health Education Standards, and the CDC’s Whole Schools, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Model. The program content supports target outcomes of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed), which include eating more fruits and vegetables, increasing physical activity, and maintaining appropriate calorie balance.
Because messages are more effective when they are consistent and delivered through multiple channels, all school staff and volunteers can play a vital role in reinforcing nutrition messages. Use the links below to help promote a healthy school environment.
School Announcements (Click to download a Word document)
School Newsletters (Click to download a Word document)
FitBitsTM is an innovative, best practice resource that gets students up, out of their seats, and moving during the school day. At the same time, FitBits™ reinforces nutrition and health concepts that are aligned with USDA MyPlate, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and grade level National Health Standards.
FitBits™ activities are arranged into four content areas: Healthy Bodies, Food Groups, Fruits and Veggies, and Healthy Snacks.
Multiple studies show that active children have higher academic test scores. In just 7–10 minutes, teachers can use FitBits™ for fun, kid-approved physical activity opportunities. These engaging activities serve to break up periods of student inactivity, to transition to other subjects, and simply to liven up the classroom.
FitBits™ activities are designed to require no special equipment. Each book includes a music CD to optionally play during activities. The variety of movements in each booklet are age-appropriate for developmental skill level. Students participate in three types of physical activity: strength, endurance, and flexibility.
This enhanced version of FitBits™ includes a new feature called the “Apple Core.” Each activity has a grade-specific Apple Core which teachers can use to further reinforce Common Core Educational Standards for Math and English Language Arts.
The book sets that make up Health Through Literacy™ include six to seven books, age-appropriate for three levels, Pre-K to Kindergarten, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary. Each book is nutrition or physical activity themed and comes with a tip sheet to enhance the health messages within the books. These tip sheets help teachers to discuss the books with their classes, to incorporate physical activity into the reading of the book, to provide a food tasting opportunity for students, and to integrate health messages with other areas of the program.
Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities™ (HSHC™) is a program that teaches children how and why to choose healthy foods and be physically active. Children learn healthy behaviors through interactive activities, food tastings, and nutrition-themed physical activity breaks. HSHC™ helps site educators think about their learning environment and identify ways to promote healthy eating and physical activity. The program also connects families, schools, and the community with the learning that is taking place to promote and sustain healthy behaviors. HSHC™ can be taught by a guest educator, a classroom teacher, an educator-teacher team, a summer program leader, community-based programmers, or before-and-after school program staff.
There are three learning levels for HSHC™:
- Pre-K and Kindergarten (pre-readers)
- Lower Elementary (first- and second-grade)
- Upper Elementary (third- through fifth-grade)