Eighteen school days hath November…


By Janet Michalowski, RN, BSN, CSN, Director of Nursing

“Eighteen school days hath November…” and at P.G. Chambers School, we filled those eighteen days with activities supporting our Whole Child Initiative!

We started the month by making some positive, healthy changes to our “Middle School Café” a student-run café that offers a lunch menu each Friday. The middle school students plan the meals, cook, and sell their creations to staff. I presented guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and United States Dietary Association to the middle school teachers and therapists for use when working with the students on planning and cooking their Friday delicacies.  They adopted the guidelines   quickly, and applied them to teaching students about healthier food choices. The students learned about providing delicious, healthy options for staff at the Middle School Cafe.

Our next health initiative event took place on November 3, 2017, when we offered an informational session to parents of our middle school students. The focus of the session was on Adolescent Life and a few key changes that occur both physically and emotionally during this stage of development. The session was an informative exchange of questions, answers, and resources.

We were happy to welcome Monica Hansen, Registered Dietitian to the school on November 15, 2017 when she conducted a workshop for parents about offering healthy options for children. Monica offered helpful suggestions for the picky eater, addressed constipation, and healthy portion sizes.  Did you know that adding oats to a smoothie, not only thickens the smoothie, but adds extra fiber to help with constipation? Or using Siggi’s triple cream yogurt produces a dense caloric, high protein smoothie in a small portion?  Monica presented these and many other tips. The workshop was filmed and will be accessible on our website.

You can use the chart below as a reference guide at home to help make healthier choices. Each serving of a snack or entrée is broken down into the maximum number of calories, sugar, fat, and salt content recommended by the above agencies.

Snack Total calories Total Sugar Total Fat Total Salt
per serving 200 35% by weight or less 35% of calories or less

Saturated fat – <10% of calories

Trans fat – 0 g

200 mg or less
Entree Total calories Total Sugar Total Fat Total Salt
per serving 350 35% by weight or less 35% of calories or less

Saturated fat – <10% of calories

Trans fat – 0 g

480 mg or less

To end the month’s healthy initiatives, we had a visit from Colgate on November 21, 2017. They brought 12 volunteers and a mobile dental van! One of the volunteers was Yosmery Garcia, a dental hygienist.  With parent permission, Yosmery completed a dental screening for 61 children from our school and child care programs.  The Colgate volunteers provided the classrooms with instruction on dental hygiene and dental health using our classroom SMARTBOARDS. It was such a fun day that we cannot wait for our friends from Colgate to visit us again next year!




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