Teenagers Help Erase School Lunch Debt



It cannot be emphasized enough: kids need to eat healthy, nutritious meals in order for them to succeed academically. There is an indisputable link between nutrition and the development of children’s brains. Despite this importance, many kids go hungry. Kids from low-income families, including a disproportionate number of Latinos, often go without meals at school because the owe money. School lunch debt is a huge issue in cities across the country. A 2016 survey by the School Nutrition Association of 1,000 school meal program operators, about 75% of districts had unpaid student meal debt at the end of the school year. The median amount of debt per district was $2,000, but it can run much higher in large districts. For example, the Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, ...

Read More

Fruit Juice Banned in Primary Schools to Cut Obesity in Scotland


LAtino Health sweetened sugary beverages

Sweetened sugary beverages are the main sources of excess sugar consumption and are associated with decreased water, fruit and vegetable consumption, as well as increased risk for obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Parents in the Tayside area of Scotland expressed their concerns about the excess sugar given to toddlers in the form of fruit juice. In March 2017, more than 140 Scottish primary schools were banned from giving toddlers fruit juice. Water and milk will be served instead. “All local authorities have a duty to provide school meals that meet strict nutritional requirements, ensuring that pupils are offered balanced and nutritious school lunches," a Scottish Government spokesperson said according to one source. Barriers to healthy eating are not only ...

Read More

Healthy Summer Meals For Kids Only A Text Away



Free and reduced-price school meals help make sure that over 21 million kids get at least two meals a day, but what happens during the summer? That’s where the No Kid Hungry program can help. They created a resource where families can text ‘FOOD’ (for English responses) or ‘COMIDA’ (for Spanish responses) to 877-877 and receive locations providing summer meals nearest the zip code entered. Without programs like these, 6 out of 7 kids who are able to get free and reduced-price lunches during the school year might not have access to nutritious meals in the summer. Of those enrolled in nutrition programs at school, Latino children make up 32% of kids receiving free lunches and 29.7% of kids receiving reduced lunches. For more information, go to NoKidHungry.org or text ...

Read More

LA Supports No More McTeachers Nights for LA Schools!



A healthy movement is growing in Los Angeles (48.5% Latino) where schools are saying no to the unhealthy marketing of McTeachers nights. This week of May 12, 2015, schools are being asked to vote on nutrition and fundraising policies, including voting on policies around food marketing for local wellness school policies. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has outlined updates for school districts on local wellness policies (LWP) to include a policy around food marketing in schools by June 30, 2016. School marketing includes any advertising, promotion of oral written, or graphic statements made for the purpose of promoting the sale of food or beverages, explains a resource from Voices for Healthy kids and the Center for Science in the Public Interest ...

Read More

Become A School Wellness Hero



Momsrising.org is asking mom's to become school wellness heroes to help make sure physical education and healthy foods are a part of school wellness policies. Kids spend most of their day at school, eating most of their calories and expending most of their energy at school, so it is vital for the school environment to be healthy. Currently, over 99% of schools are meeting new healthy snack standards, but with the new healthy school meal standards being rolled back around sodium, non-fat and flavored milk and whole grains, there is still so much work to do to make sure kids are in a safe and healthy school environment all day. You can help support health and wellness in schools before the end of June while school districts update their wellness policies. Get involved by dropping off ...

Read More

School Dietician Uses Student Videos to Give Health a Starring Role



Barbara Berger was more than concerned—she was downright worried about the growing weight and health of her students. The school dietitian in Las Cruces, NM (67.1% Latino population), found it hard to promote healthy eating and physical activity to her teenaged students. That was, until she let students do it themselves in a way that would engage students in a fun, creative story-telling experience. Through the use of creative films and videos, Berger found that the students were not only able to help solve real-world health problems, they had fun and gained valuable life-skills while doing it. Opening Credits: A Video Idea to Help Middle-Schoolers Barbara Berger has been involved with health and nutrition education since 2012 for the Las Cruces Public School ...

Read More

Digital CATCH Website for School Health in English and Spanish


LAtino health physical activity school CATCH

The Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) program is an evidence based physical activity and nutrition program for schools that promotes healthy food choices among children. For over 25 years, the CATCH platform has been the most cost effective means of preventing childhood obesity, in an environment that’s fun and easy to sustain. They are the originators of "GO, SLOW, and WHOA" for identifying healthful foods. CATCH has a new digital website! In Spanish, too! "The program aims to impact messaging a child receives in physical education, the lunchroom, the classroom, and the home, to form an effective resource that impacts a child’s choices not only in school, but lifelong." Share this with teachers, PE teachers, principals, school administrators, and student ...

Read More

Teachers Who Went Above and Beyond for Students, Communities



What makes a great teacher? Great teachers not only work hard to ensure the academic success and leadership skills of their students, they also help students develop healthy habits for life. That's why we at Salud America! are excited to spotlight some teachers who have gone above and beyond for the well-being of their students! Ana Suffle: School Garden Maven El Paso, Texas, shares its border with Mexico. This creates an interesting cultural dynamic where some students cross the border daily from Mexico to go to Bowie High School in El Paso. Ana Suffle, a 15-year teacher at Bowie, said many students eat cheap, addictive fast food instead of traditional Hispanic dishes filled with fresh veggies, spices and tons of flavor, according to a Salud Hero story by Salud ...

Read More

How to Help Picky Eaters Enjoy Veggies!



As many parents know, and research shows, US kids are not getting enough vegetables into their diets. Although there are many ways to hide greens into kids' diets, experts suggest to keep them in plain view on the plate. According to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 93% of US children ages 1 to 18 do not meet current recommendations for vegetable intake. However, blending spinach into your child's favorite strawberry shake may seem a tempting way for them to "like" spinach, the best way to offer vegetables is repeated exposure up to 8 to 15 times, explained psychologist, Lucy Cooke to NPR. Through her own research, Cooke found that kids trying new vegetables at school or at home, were more likely to eat more of the same vegetable three ...

Read More

Public Schools Get Free Fresh Salad Bars



In Oklahoma City, students at two local public schools are enjoying free salad bars donated by Dole Food Company and Homeland Stores as part of an initiative by the United Fresh Start Foundation to increase healthy options for students in school. “Healthy eating options are key for a healthy lifestyle, and that’s a high priority for us when it comes to feeding our kids,” said Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora told Business Wire. “I am very appreciative of our community partners for bringing these salad bars into our schools, supporting all the great work that our School Nutrition Services Department is doing to provide fresh, and great tasting food choices for our students.” The schools including Hawthorne Elementary school and Classen School of ...

Read More