Healthy Classroom Party Ideas! from CSPI



The Center for Science in the Public Interest has created a comprehensive list of healthy school party ideas. Classroom parties can often involve candy, cake, snacks, and sweets; which are high in fat and sugar. These foods in excess lead to issues like obesity and obesity related diseases in children. But teachers and students can celebrate birthdays, accomplishments, and holidays in healthy ways! Non-food ideas involve having dance parties, extra recess, reading time, creative crafts, and party games. You can find the guide here and learn how to provide healthy celebrations for all ...

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Food Justice Group Hopes to Bring New Farmers’ Market to North Oakland



As summer approaches, farmers' markets begin kicking into high gear. Phat Beats Produce, a group of passionate food activists in Oakland, CA, are working to upgrade their Saturday farmers' market to have it serve more low-income families, farmers of color (many of which are Latino), and the whole North Oakland neighborhood. Since 2010, the Saturday market has been a forum for small farmers of color to connect with urban dwellers, while keeping the prices of their organically-grown produce affordable and accessible.  It is a space that hosts grassroots economic initiatives that assist low-income residents such as the Phat Beets Kitchen Incubator Program and the Phat Beetz Youth Pickle Company.  Through free Food n' Justice Workshops, monthly crop swaps and free ...

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Expanding Summer Meals in San Diego



Action for Healthy Kids' (AFHK) Nancy Frank, M.P.H., AFHK State Coordinator, in California explains how one school nutritionist stepped up to provide healthy food for all students and kids in her community. When Sally Spero arrived at San Diego’s Lemon Crest Elementary School as child nutrition director in the winter of 2012, she quickly realized that the summer meal program – which served children in the community as well as those attending the school’s various summer programs –  had only reached 60 kids the previous summer and offered foods that didn’t meet emerging nutrition standards. So she did something about it. With the support of the district superintendent and the school board, Spero applied for and received a grant from Action for Healthy Kids, funded by ...

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Alaska’s Farmers’ Markets will Continue to Expand Access



Farmers' markets are great places to buy healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. But many folks who receive food assistance benefits (Latinos make up 41% of WIC participants and 15% of SNAP participants) can't use those benefits at the market. Farmers' markets across the country are trying to change this, equipping their markets with machines that can turn the food assistance benefits into currency farmers can accept in exchange for fresh food. In Alaska, a handful of markets in the state introduced debit card readers, a small change put in place to give Alaskans who use Quest cards, the delivery system for SNAP funds, the ability to purchase fruits, vegetables and even plant starters. When the first two machines were installed in 2011, revenue for the two pilot ...

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Eureka High School Students Work to Get Better Water Access



CA4Health works in rural and small California counties to reduce chronic disease and illness by helping bring about changes in the community that make it easier for people to make healthier choices in their daily lives. Many of these communities have a high Latino population. In Humboldt County, the local health department partnered with students and staff at Eureka High School to implement Hydration Nation, an effort that increased the access and appeal of fresh drinking water as a healthy alternative to the sugary beverages that are helping fuel the nation’s obesity epidemic. At Eureka High School, there were 11 older-style water fountains available to the 1,200 students and 80 staff members, none of which allowed easy filling of the reusable water bottles which were gaining ...

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Youth Help Latino Corner Store Market Fresh, Healthy Foods



Latino neighborhoods have one-third as many supermarkets as non-Latino ones, studies show. This can limit food options to what can be found at local corner stores, which aren’t known to carry an abundance of fresh, healthy foods. In the mostly Latino city of Watsonville, Calif., corner stores either didn’t have many healthy options or weren’t encouraging customers to but the few healthy options they did have. One local corner market worked with youth to improve its bottom line while promoting healthy eating in the community. EMERGENCE Awareness: In California’s Santa Cruz County, located on the central pacific coast, the 80% Latino city of Watsonville has disproportionately higher rates of obesity than many other cities. The city’s food environment plays a big role in ...

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Smarter Snacks through Smarter Vending in Ohio



In 2010 Ohio became the first state in the country to turn the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Competitive Foods and Beverages Guidelines, which outline nutritional criteria for snacks and beverages sold in school, into law. Cincinnati Public School District began to make their changes according to this law in 2010 by re-evaluating their vending machine contracts. Jessica Shelly, Food Service Director, found vending machines all over campuses throughout the district. Many were not monitored well and there was nothing being done to keep track of the many different brands/types of machines placed throughout the district. School leaders decided to wipe the slate clean, getting rid of all vending machines and putting out a new request for proposal for machines with timers and ...

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Schools in Hall County GA Get Healthier Snacks



Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program participants in Hall County, Ga. are working toward providing healthy snacks in all schools. “The way the Alliance does it is right on,” explained Weirs. “We didn’t have any health efforts in place at the time, and we needed to know what a healthy school should look like. The Alliance gave us the road map, the tools and the recognition. They helped us identify where we were currently, where we were we going and what incentives we needed to get there. The Alliance made it so easy.” The biggest task Weirs, as the district's Wellness Coordinator, took on was getting sugar-sweetened sports drinks out of elementary schools. Many schools are hesitant to make this change because of their fears that sales will ...

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Latino-Owned Grocery Store Uses Bilingual Marketing to Inspire Healthy Shopping



Northgate González Market has come a long way since its humble beginnings. The family-owned and operated California-based grocery store chain, originally founded by immigrants from Jalisco in 1980, went from one 2,500-square-foot store to now 42 stores located throughout Southern California. Despite Northgate’s success, its owners have not forgotten their roots or culture. They seek to offer high-quality products and improve the quality of life for Latinos through their Viva la Salud! Program, which includes bilingual healthy food labels and an entire marketing program aimed at helping customers make wise food- purchasing decisions as part of a healthy lifestyle. EMERGENCE Awareness: Victor González, Senior VP of Marketing at González Northgate Markets, a chain of ...

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