19 Evidence-Based Strategies for Recess


Latino Health Physical Activity Recess School

Recess can help kids get their 60 minutes of recommended daily physical activity to reduce their risk of developing lifelong chronic diseases, like heart disease, and diabetes, and to improve their academic performance and mental health. Unfortunately, Latino kids have fewer opportunities before, after, and during school for physical activity than white kids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SHAPE America have developed a guide that provide schools with 19 evidence-based strategies for recess, as well as a planning guide and template to help develop a written recess plan that integrates these strategies. Download these free resources to start a healthy change in your school and then spread the word!   Recess is a critical part of the school ...

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Parents Lead the Way in Healthy School Lunches



Napa Valley Unified School District, (33.9% Latino) operates 32 schools within the district and now is working towards healthier and tastier school lunches as parents have come together to get the district to change what it offers for students lunches. The lunch reform movement started in recent years with a passionate group of parents that were wanting to make a change in the high levels of pre-diabetic students, and the fact that students were not enjoying the school lunches that were part of the national lunch program. Since then, members of the Napa City Council and the Napa County Board of Supervisors are supporting lunch reform and joined in participating in a recent Napa County annual Food Day celebration, to help focus on healthier school lunches. The celebration ...

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Grant Opportunity Applications Open Till December 15th!



Grants up to $90,000 are now available for those focused on helping kids grow up at a healthy weight through state, local and tribal public policy campaigns. Applicants can apply to the Voices for Healthy Kids grant by Thursday, December 15th, 2016 and applications must be specific to an individual campaign focused on changing public policy in one state, local or tribal geographic location and must align with one of the Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities. To learn more, visit the Voices for Healthy Kids Policy Lever site and review the policy priorities, and submit applications via email to voicesforhealthykids@heart.org. The support for this grant is through the collaboration of The American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, working in ...

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Fox Farm Plants Hope For Health in Southern California Elementary School



Within the Pasadena Unified School District (53.6% Latino students), students at Altadena's Franklin Elementary School celebrate their first harvest from their school garden, Fox Farm. According to Pasadena Now, Franklin Elementary School is considered one of the most underserved elementary schools in the District (72% Latino), where more than 40% are English learners, more than 80% of the students participate in free and reduce price lunch and are living in what is considered a "food desert", where healthy food is distant and junk food is plentiful. Unfortunately, studies show, Latino students often live in food deserts, see more junk food ads than their peers, and have less access to salad and fruit bars in their schools. However, now Franklin Elementary is enjoying the ...

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Laredo ISD Cooks Up a Healthy Challenge With Nickelodeon TV Star



A new "Lean & Green" movement is helping schools all around the nation incorporate vegetarian meals and more vegetables into school lunches. Creating an event similar to the popular television show top chef, Laredo independent school district (98.9% Latino) is holding its own top chef event through the support of The Humane Society of the United States, Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016. Daniella Monet, an actress best known for her role in Nickelodeon's Victorious as Trina Vega, will help get kids excited about healthier meat-free school meals by kicking off Laredo School District's "Lean & Green Days" Meal Program. Monet is a longtime vegetarian and supports the efforts of Lean & Green and The Humane Society of the United States. The 27-year-old actress, singer, ...

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Santa Fe Mayor Wants to Actively Decrease Soda Consumption



Santa Fe, New Mexico (51.2% Latino) is still struggling with increasing rates of obesity among children and adults, where reports detail 28.8% percent of adults in the state are obese and 25.6% of kindergarten students were obese or overweight in 2015. The 2015 report from the New Mexico Childhood Obesity Update, revealed that third graders and kindergarten rates of obesity have decreased by 10.6% over six years, but the majority of students in New Mexico, namely Hispanic students, have experienced very little decline in rates of obesity over the last six years. Many in school efforts around healthier foods, and physical activity helped decrease the continued rising rates of childhood obesity, but now other efforts around sugary drink consumption are being discussed. Mayor ...

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New Zealand Doctors Want To End Sales of Sugary Drinks



Since the recent announcement from the World Health Organization (WHO) that all countries should implement a 20 percent soda tax to help reduce worldwide health risks linked to sugary drink consumption, many countries and health advocate groups have started talking about various new sugary drink reduction policy initiatives. Now a group of Doctors, researchers, and public health advocates have joined together with the goal of eliminating sugary drinks from New Zealand by 2025. The group, FIZZ, which stands for "Fighting Sugar in Softdrinks", states on their website their justification in ending sales of sodas is due to the tide of evidence that implicates consumption of sugary drinks with common health risks like type-2 diabetes, rotten teeth gout, and cardiovascular ...

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Celebrate National School Lunch Week!



Today kicks off the National School Lunch Week, helping to provide awareness and support for National Farm-to-School Month throughout October and to share and support schools who are implementing healthy school food efforts all year round. Considering that students eat more than half of their daily calories at school, nutritious school food plays a vital role in the development of healthy students and healthy eating habits. This is even more true for Latino kids who often are in schools that don't always implement healthy foods and snacks in schools, studies show. To learn more about how school meal programs have encouraged healthy eating decisions among students insights were gathered from a panel of school nutrition leaders commissioned by the Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods ...

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Farm-to-School Efforts Grow in Minnesota Schools



Since 2012, Minnesota (5.2% Latino) school districts have been working to expand farm-to-school fresh food options within school lunches, buying local fresh fruits and vegetables and serving up whole-grain fresh bread. Over 27 kitchens within the state now offer fresh, cooked from scratch meals, Bertrand Weber, Minneapolis Public Schools Nutrition director explained to the StarTribune. A department of agriculture had help invest over one million dollars in over 57 districts to help support schools to upgrade their kitchens, buy local produce, make fresh meals and serve more nutritious options. However, a poll taken by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota found that 69 % of parents still worry about physical activity and healthy food access for their students while they are at ...

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Making “Smarter Lunchrooms” to Encourage Healthy Eating



In working on reducing food waste since new rules went into effect in 2012, School Lunch Advisory Councils (SLACs) are now asking students to help other students eat healthier. SLACS, which are composed of a food service director, an educator, and two or three students, are using behavioral economics like encouraging students to nudge or encourage other students to consume more fruits and vegetables at lunch. Montana food directors told The Washington Free Beacon that once the cafeteria put up creative signage like the student's life-sized version of their coach promoting apples and moved their salad bar, lunch waste decreased by 35 percent. “Smarter Lunchrooms uses the basic principles of behavioral economics (the influencing factors behind people’s choices and behaviors) ...

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