San Antonio Among the Top Three U.S. Cities with School Salad Bars: Effort Supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative
Check out the San Antonio School Salad Bars video.
“Mom, our school has a salad bar this year! And no offense Mom, but it was one of the best salads I’ve ever had,” said George Velasquez, a 12-year-old San Antonio middle school student.
San Antonio kids get a positive addition to their new school year with salad bars in their school cafeterias thanks to the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program. The San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council, the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) and the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program are working together to promote healthy school meals to fight obesity. Through this partnership, more than 100 schools in San Antonio will implement salad bars this school year, reaching more than 100,000 students! With this monumental achievement, San Antonio is now one of the top three U.S. cities with school salad bars.
San Antonio’s Healthy School Meals Initiative is part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program that was awarded to Metro Health as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The CPPW grant focuses on reducing the prevalence of obesity by increasing access to healthy foods and increasing physical activity through evidence-based policy, system, and environmental changes in schools, restaurants, and community settings. One of the major initiatives of the San Antonio CPPW program is the Healthy School Meals Initiative, which is focused on healthy school meal choices and providing increased access to fruits and vegetables in schools through salad bars. Research has shown that school children significantly increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables when they have a school salad bar. The San Antonio Healthy School Meals Initiative is proud to have partnered with the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative that has a goal of providing 6,000 salad bars to schools nationwide. The Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.
The San Antonio Healthy School Meals Initiative also has recently partnered with Fuel Up to Play 60, a national Dairy Max and NFL campaign that promotes healthy eating and physical activity in schools. San Antonio recently held its first Fuel Up to Play 60 event to encourage students to fuel up their bodies with the right foods and drink to have the energy to play for a full 60 minutes every day. Students had the opportunity to be physically active and eat from the salad bar with former NFL player, Priest Holmes.
Meg Domas, a Child Nutrition and Food Service Director at North East Independent School District in San Antonio said, "The addition of the salad bars in our schools have proven to be quite successful. They have allowed us to accomplish multiple goals. Students are given the opportunity to select their own food items, they provide an avenue for introducing them to new fruits and vegetables, and the salad bars demonstrate all the good things that are happening in school nutrition."
San Antonio has been selected as a Let’s Move! city, so it’s no surprise that San Antonio schools are taking progressive steps in promoting healthy school meals through salad bars. San Antonio continues to make collaborations with both local and national organizations to enhance the efforts of the Healthy School Meals Initiative.
For more information about the San Antonio CPPW Program, log on to www.SABalance.org.