Building Stronger Children

On our last day in Malmö, we visited three different locations and the one that caught my attention the most was the certified health school. The primary school strived to provide healthy and sugar-free meals for the students each day. We had the pleasure of joining the students in their classrooms for lunch. We enjoyed a delicious meal of fresh salmon and veggies. Apparently, meals like these were very common according to the students. I could never have imagined eating meals like this in my school. Although not all schools in Sweden may have food quite this fancy, many of them have fresh food and strive to encourage better eating habits.

Another very important aspect that the certified health school had to offer was the ability for children to have several breaks each day from their learning. The students could go play outside and were encouraged to be outside during those times. Many American schools often times only offer a short recess after lunch. However, in this Swedish school, the children were given two longer breaks with enough time to get out their energy along with a few other shorter breaks to give their brains a rest throughout the day. Being outdoors is one value that many Scandinavian countries cherish.

After experiencing a few hours in a school in Sweden and enjoying their homemade school lunch it got many of us talking about the lunches that we were provided in elementary school. Often times the lunches in America are reheated frozen food that is fast and efficient to cook for a lot of students. The Swedish school had their own chef who cooked their meals from scratch each day. The overall health of the students is extremely important in the eyes of Swedes. They want their youth to grow up learning about ways to be healthy and to keep the environment clean. The students are being taught ways to be sustainable such as recycling and not taking more food than they can handle so it doesn’t go to waste. Some of these aspects are becoming more noticeable in America as well.

The final detail about the day at the certified health school that caught my attention was that each student set their own goals that they would like to achieve that year. Some included eating a healthier breakfast in the morning or eating a banana after doing physical activity instead of a sports drink. The children are learning better ways to take care of their bodies by eating healthy diets and to be more physically active. The goal of schools such as this one is to help guide kids at younger ages to think about the futures they want for themselves, teach them better eating habits and help them set goals that they are able to accomplish.

Our class got to interact with a first grade classroom at the health school!
Our sixth grade guides tell us about the significance of their school logo, the tulip.