Children playing (Photo: Immanuel Giel/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Children playing (Photo: Immanuel Giel/Wikimedia Commons)
Monday, 4 April 2016 - 13:17
Teachers to get extra training in healthy lifestyles
Six teacher training colleges will soon start training teachers specifically on healthy lifestyles. The aim is for every primary school to have, in addition to language-, math- and science experts, also a health expert in house, to watch what the children eat and make sure they exercise enough, AD reports. The promotion of a healthy lifestyle is still too ad hoc", Vivian Bos of the national institute for public health RIVM, said to the newspaper. While healthy lifestyle is already high on the agenda, may schools only occasionally focus on it. "If you want a real effect, you as school have to work on it for a long time and also involve the parents." Parent involvement is absolutely essential, according to the RIVM. For schools banning unhealthy snacks have little effect if parents put leftover pizza or white bread covered in chocolate sprinkles in lunch boxes. The University of Applied Sciences Leiden, known as the Hogeschool Leiden in the Netherlands, is currently training a group of future teachers on exactly how to encourage and ensure healthy lifestyles in students. This includes lectures on how to get parents involved and how to get children to move more in addition to gym class - for example a "game of the week" during outside play or "moving while snacking" between classes. The Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports made a 1.2 million euro grant available to the University for this experiment. The school is working with five other colleges in the country to make sure that all children have access to "health" teachers.