The dining room at Dutchess Day School looked a bit different over four days in mid-January. The school’s chef had prepared an array of foods specifically chosen for their brain benefits, allowing students of all ages to sample such items as salmon roe, pomegranate juice, blueberries, and sardines. They were delighted; and when they sat down at their tables, they discovered displays of riddles and games, along with conversation starters about healthy brain food and eating choices.
The occasion was “Healthy Body, Healthy Minds” week, spearheaded by a member of the school’s parents association, who’s also a 1991 Dutchess graduate. Activities ranged from shocking discoveries about the sugar content of many common foods (Gatorade has as much sugar as a large, frosted cupcake) to finding out that every minute of walking translates into a two-minute extension of life. Students and teachers also learned the importance of exercising the brain—not just the muscles in the body—in an edifying if frustrating experiment: trying to eat spaghetti with their non-dominant hands.
Those four days made quite an impression on the students. One teacher, asked why so many kids from her table were walking around during their lunch break, replied, “They are trying to lengthen their lives.” Obviously the dining room was a good place to start.