Fulfilling a commitment made three years ago, 16 companies including brand owners such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle USA, Kellogg, General Mills, and Kraft Foods announced that they had reached their goal of taking 1.5 trillion calories out of the marketplace, three years ahead of schedule.
The Twin Cities — Minneapolis-St.Paul — are the healthiest, fittest cities in the USA for the third year in a row, according to an analysis of the 50 most populous metropolitan areas in the USA. Other top fit cities: Washington, D.C., Portland, San Francisco, Denver, Boston, and Sacramento. The annual American Fitness Index, out today from the American College of Sports Medicine, is based on a number of health behaviors including smoking, exercise, obesity rates, chronic health problems and access to health care. It also looks at the environment including availability of parks, recreational facilities, walking trails and farmers' markets. Read more
Dig In! helps kids, teachers, and parents explore a world of possibilities in the garden and on the plate using ten inquiry-based lessons that engage 5th and 6th graders in growing, harvesting, tasting, and learning about fruits and vegetables. Dig In! also includes a gardening guide, booklets for parents/caregivers, and six dynamic posters encouraging fruit and vegetable choices using themes that appeal to older elementary school children.
The Great Garden Detective Adventure is focused on discovering what fruits and vegetables are sweetest, crunchiest, and juiciest through a series of investigations and fun experiences connecting the school garden to the classroom, school cafeteria, and home. This eleven-lesson curriculum for 3rd and 4th grades includes bulletin board materials, veggie dice, fruit and vegetable flash cards, and ten issues of Garden Detective News for parents/caregivers.
These materials are meant to help meet English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Health standards while changing how kids think and feel about fruits and vegetables and fostering an awareness of where foods come from.
Watch the Webinar: http://cc.readytalk.com/play?id=537p9
NPR, Richard Knox and Patti Neighmond, 02/25/2013
Research, Reports, and Tools to Support Healthy Afterschool Programs
The National Center on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) and the Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Coalition has a great website focused on research, reports, and tools to support healthy afterschool programs. Whether you are an experienced health-based program or a more traditional program looking for ways to incorporate more healthy activities into your work, you will find a wealth of resources you can use today! Click here for healthy snack ideas, activity cards, interactive tools and tips, and more.
New Activity Guide: Active8
Active8 is an 8-step guide for youth providers engaging youth through creating opportunities for physical activity that are enjoyable, meets their needs and involve and encourages participation of all, including peers, staff, administrators, parents, and community members. The guide incorporates physical activities and positive physical activity culture through policy. Find it here.
Keep Recess in Play, Pediatricians Urge
USA Today, Michelle Healy, 12/31/2012
Recess is good for a child's body and mind, and withholding these regular breaks in the school day may be counterproductive to healthy child development, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics' first policy statement on the issue. Read More.
USDA Farm to School E-letter
October 18, 2012 | Volume 1, Issue 9
USDA NEWS & UPDATES
Let's Move (Local!) Salad Bars to Schools
October is National Farm to School Month, and yesterday’s theme of the day was Salad Bars: colorful buffets of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats, and grains that allow schoolchildren to make their own selections. Salad bars have been proven to increase kids’ consumption of fruits and vegetables, and they are a fantastic way to incorporate locally produced foods into school meals. In celebration of the role of salad bars in local lunches, we invite you to sample this smorgasbord of resources meant to help schools acquire, operate, and load local foods onto theirs.
- Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is an initiative that aims to mobilize and engage stakeholders at all levels to support salad bars in schools. They have already granted nearly 1,500 salad bars to schools across the country and hope to grant 4,500 more over the next few years. Visit the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools website to learn more about their efforts, check out their resources, and apply for a salad bar!
- For policy guidance related to salad bars, see this memo from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service about salad bar portion sizes, nutrient analysis, and food safety, as well as this set of Q&As that includes questions about salad bars and the new meal pattern. Schools serving a lot of fresh produce might also want to read our Best Practices for Handling Fresh Produce in Schools.
- The Lunch Box is a website that features tools developed and compiled by the Food Family Farming Foundation, headed by “Renegade Lunch Lady” Ann Cooper. Check out these fun and informative videos, download this salad bar activity kit, and explore all of the Salad Bar and Farm to School resources.
- The Minnesota Department of Public Health’s comprehensive, step-by-step Field Guide to Salad Bars in Schools offers extensive information on food safety, operations, menus, service, marketing, and more.
Bits From Blogs
To get a taste of how schools across the country are featuring local, seasonal, and delicious options on their salad bars, read this blog post on National Farm to School Month website. Happy exploring!
Learn to Grocery Shop on a Budget
How do you provide healthy meals for your family on a limited budget? Chef Greg Silverman, a Chefs Move to Schools participant, is working to help answer this common question.
Chef Greg manages the Shopping Matters Program, a guided grocery store tour sponsored by the non-profit Share Our Strength to teach individuals how to read labels, compare unit prices, and contrast various forms of fruits and vegetables. Tours are led by experts in the field, including culinary and health professionals. At the end of each 60 to 90 minute tour, participants put their new knowledge to use through a challenge: buy groceries to make a healthy meal for a family of four with only $10. Read more on the Let’s Move Blog >
Team Nutrition Releases "Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbook for Schools"
This week, USDA, in partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, the American Culinary Federation, and the School Nutrition Association, published thirty kid-approved recipes from the Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge. The top recipes in each category have been standardized in cookbooks for homes, child care centers, and schools, all featuring nutritious recipes designed to increase students’ intake of whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, and dry beans and peas. Visit the Team Nutrition website for the cookbooks and recipes.
The Rudd Center has updated its Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes Policy Brief. Since the 2009 publication on soft drink taxes, significant progress has been made in the effort to reduce consumption of sugar-sweentened beverages. Read More.
Students in the United States consume almost 400 billion calories from junk food sold at school each year, an equivalent to 2 billion candy bars, according to a new report from Mission: Readiness, a national security organization of retired generals and admirals. The report, Still Too Fat to Fight, calls for strong federal nutrition standards for school snacks, noting that the widespread availability of junk food in our nation’s schools contributes to the childhood obesity epidemic, seriously undermines efforts to teach children about the importance of a healthy diet, and has a negative affect on the ability of young adults to serve in the military. The United States Department of Agriculture is expected to release a proposed rule updating nutrition standards for “competitive foods” in the coming months.
Reuters, Ian Simpson, 08/13/2012
Among U.S. states, Mississippi has the highest proportion of obese adults at 34.9 percent, and Colorado has the lowest, according to a survey released on Monday. Mississippi heads 12 states with adult obesity rates of more than 30 percent, trailed by Louisiana and West Virginia, according to the report by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read More.
In its latest National Poll on Children's Health (NPCH), the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital has revealed that "not enough exercise" is now what most concerns adults throughout the United States with regard to the overall well-being of kids. See the entire report by clicking on the title. Read More.