Here at NCES, we focus a lot on child and school nutrition! We have had the opportunity to work with schools all across the spectrum in school nutrition. Some don’t have much of a nutrition program at all, while others have great programs that are helping their students understand the importance of nutrition and educating them to make healthy choices in the lunchroom, at home, and everywhere else.
It’s no secret that schools are constantly under fire for not providing the resources that students need in order to make healthy choices and live a healthy lifestyle. However, it’s not every day that schools get the accolades they deserve for the strides that many have made to provide healthy school lunches and fitness opportunities.
So many schools across the country are participating in programs like the National Dairy Council and NFL’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program. When schools partner with Fuel Up to Play 60, students have the opportunity to participate in fun challenges and track their healthy eating and physical activity. Students work with their adult sponsors to complete ‘plays’ in their playbook and earn online rewards. Over 70,000 schools across the country currently participate in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. If you have any other questions or want to learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60, visit their FAQ section here.
Schools are also taking steps to take unhealthy choices out of their student’s hands; like removing vending machines from their cafeterias. Pre-packaged foods are often very appealing to students. Not only are they super sweet, salty or flavorful, the flashy marketing and branding of these items makes them hard for kids to resist. Removing this temptation and showing students how great the healthy options can taste will help them develop lifelong habits of healthy eating. In February of this year, we were introduced to some new rules from the USDA that would make it harder for kids to find “sugar-filled candy, high-calorie sports drinks and greasy dishes” in their school lunchroom. Instead, healthy school lunches would be promoted. Read more about these new guidelines from CBS News here.
The gist of the story here is that many schools across the country are taking the steps necessary to foster a healthy eating and active environment for their students. Through participating in local and national programs, taking steps in their schools to remove unhealthy options and promote healthy choices, these schools are working together to save a generation. Congratulations to these schools for being pioneers in school nutrition. Keep up the great work!
We want to hear from you! What is your school doing to improve child and school nutrition in your community? What kind of results have you seen? Let’s all work together to encourage healthy lifestyles at home, at school and everywhere else! Share your ideas and stories here on the blog, our Facebook page or Twitter. Plus, you can always find the best in nutrition education at www.NCEScatalog.com.