Posted by Alan Shannon, Public Affairs Director, Midwest Region, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, and Katherine Elmer-Dewitt, Academy for Global Citizenship on September 30, 2014
As we approach the five-year anniversary of the passage of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, it’s worthwhile to revisit some of the schools that were at the cutting edge of creating healthier school meals. Chicago’s Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) has been a pioneer in serving healthy, delicious school meals that exceed USDA school meals standards. Just as important, students love them! Integral to AGC’s success is a belief in not only serving positive foods but also in creating a culture that supports wellness. The school’s holistic approach relies on parent engagement, physical education, nutrition education, gardening, and more.
Posted by Anisha, Tyler, and Shea, Student Ambassadors, Fuel Up To Play 60 on September 29, 2014
Ed. Note: This is a cross post from the blog of Fuel Up to Play 60. You can find the original post here.
On September 15, three of Fuel Up to Play 60’s Ambassadors were asked to attend a meeting with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition!
Posted by By Linda Mailhot, Head Cook, Mount Desert Elementary School in Northeast Harbor Maine on September 24, 2014
Mount Desert Elementary School (MDES) is a small school with a big vision, located on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine. Here we strive to promote a healthy lifestyle for our students through physical activity and nutrition education.
The cafeteria is the biggest classroom in the school where students are taught to make healthy choices for themselves beginning in kindergarten. Students progress each day through a fruit-and-vegetable bar and an entrée station. Along this route they choose the nutritious and appealing foods they need to build a balanced meal according to the new school meal standards issued by USDA. Many of our entrée offerings are multinational, which is a great way to introduce students to nutritional foods from a variety of cultures. By empowering students in the cafeteria, they learn to make healthy choices for life.
Posted by Rachel M. Powell, PhD, CHES, CPH, ORISE Fellow, Let’s Move! Child Care Operations Manager, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention on September 22, 2014
While summer days are over, the heat is sticking around and water is necessary for kids of all ages. In September 2013, First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America announced PHA’s campaign called “Drink Up” to encourage water consumption. Since the launch of the Drink Up initiative, more than 60 companies and organizations including various water and retail companies have joined the movement and encouraged others.
Posted by Denise Kahler, Communications Director, Kansas State Department of Education on September 18, 2014
More than 70 percent of Liberal High School’s student population qualify for free or reduced meals. Yet, only 11 percent of the entire student population was taking advantage of the school’s breakfast program. While we would like to believe that all kids eat a healthy breakfast at home and come to school ready to learn, that’s not reality. Additionally, most high school kids would rather stay in bed as long as possible or choose to socialize with friends before school instead of taking the time to eat breakfast.
Posted by Wendy Moraskie, USDA Food and Nutrition Service on September 16, 2014
Every year the schools in Missouri’s Raymore Peculiar R II district celebrate their salad bars during “Rainbow Days.” Thanks to the staff’s efforts to use local farmers markets, students throughout the district see fresh peppers, squash, onion, zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, green beans, corn on the cob, peaches, apples, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon and more.
Posted by Elyse Cohen, Deputy Director, Let's Move! on September 12, 2014
Today marks the one year anniversary of the Drink Up campaign launched by the Partnership for a Healthier America and First Lady Michelle Obama. It has been a great first year for the campaign with many moments to highlight starting with the splashy water festival in Watertown, WI. Since launch, Drink Up has encouraged millions of Americans to drink more water more often as a way to improve their health and help boost energy and increase focus!
Posted by Sandy Huisman, MS, RD, LD, Director of Food and Nutrition Management, Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) on September 10, 2014
Although implementing the meal standards has had some challenges, Des Moines Public Schools have been successful in making school meals nutritious and attractive to students by implementing a number of creative solutions and approaches.
Posted by Brooke Hardison, Office of Communications, USDA on September 9, 2014
Ed. Note: This is a cross post from the blog of usda.gov. You can find the original post here.
Over the past four years, USDA has worked closely with schools, parents, community leaders, and nutrition experts to ensure that when children go off to school, they are greeted by a healthier school environment. According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years, leading to an increase in obesity-related health outcomes in children, including cardiovascular disease, pre-diabetes, and bone and joint problems. Improving school nutrition is vital to reducing childhood obesity, because many children consume half of their daily calories during the school day. Making the healthy choice the easy choice sets our nation’s children up for a lifetime of healthy choices, and supports a healthier next generation. Recently, we've seen evidence that student acceptance of healthier meals is increasing across all grade levels. Today, we are pleased to see the results of the latest poll by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the American Heart Association, showing that most parents support the healthier meal and snack standards implemented through the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act of 2010. Read more about the results of that study in this blog, cross-posted from the Blog of the American Heart Association.
Posted by Allison Hutchings, Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, US Department of Health and Human Services on September 8, 2014
Just for fun, try singing the following words to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”:
Carrots, peas, and broccoli,
vegetables are good for me.
Songs like “The Vegetable Song” are just one of the many creative ways EatPlayGrow™’s action-packed curriculum helps children aged 2 to 5 years learn about nutrition and physical activity.