Study: Availability of Drinking Water in U.S. Public School Cafeterias



Starting in the 2011-12 school year, schools participating in the federally-funded National School Lunch Program were required to provide students with access to free drinking water during school meals, in the location where meals are served. New research by Bridging the Gap describes how schools are meeting this requirement and provides insight about the cleanliness of drinking fountains. The report found that most participating schools met the water requirements, but that there is still work to be done to improve water quality and access. Check out the full research ...

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Pediatrician Challenges Families to Rethink Sugary Juices and Drinks



Growing up in Spain, Dr. Marta Katalenas ate home-cooked meals made with fresh ingredients.When she moved to the United States in 1984 to learn English and become a pediatrician, she saw a different way of life that included way more treats, especially sugary juices and drinks. As she began her practice, she said she saw a growing association between kids drinking too much sugar and being overweight. Dr. Katalenas decided that if she was going to help parents set their kids on a path of health, she needed to get the whole community involved in reducing sugary drink consumption—so she made reducing sugary drinks part of her new monthly health challenge for families. EMERGENCE Awareness: Spain native Dr. Marta Katalenas, who moved to the U.S. in 1984 and became a board-certified ...

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10 Ideas for Healthy Fundraising!



Alliance for a Healthier Generation provides a guide for healthy fundraisers, giving these 10 examples of how to replace food sale fundraisers with healthy alternatives; Crestview Elementary in Carlisle, PA held a fundraising campaign called Promotion Motion. Students obtained sponsors and then participated in various challenges each week such as TV Free Week, No Fast Food Week and a Family Fitness Challenge. Teachers and parents participated and there was a tremendous response from local businesses. They raised $31,322 in six weeks of healthy activities! High Bridge Elementary School in Prince George’s County, MD raised $3000 during a 30 minute “Fun Run.” Students asked for donations per lap and ran as many as they could in 30 minutes. The funds were to be used for a new ...

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Olivares Food Market Goes the Extra Mile to Serve the Community



About five years ago, Clara Santos opened Olivares Food Market to serve the Philadelphia neighborhood in which she lived. Offering quick meals and grab-and-go snacks, her store was popular but had few healthy snacks. With some help from a food access organization, Santos learned that offering and promoting healthy food options is not only good for the health of her customers, but for business, too. EMERGENCE Awareness: Olivares Food Market, a Latino-oriented corner store in South Philadelphia, owned by Clara Santos, is a lot like other similar markets in Philadelphia and across the country. That is, it lacks healthy food options and has no marketing for the few it does have. Olivares sells prepared foods—like high-calorie cheesesteaks for lunch and pancakes for breakfast—and ...

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Comprehensive Toolkit On Competitive Foods



Voices for Health Kids has put together a comprehensive toolkit on Competitive Foods. The toolkit includes the 100+ page Master toolkit, "Make Food Choices an Easy A," which includes sections on recruiting, engaging, and mobilizing advocates to fight for healthier school foods. By engaging, organizing and mobilizing communities across the country, Voices for Healthy Kids aims to ensure that every child has access to healthy foods and drinks at home and in school, safe streets for biking and walking and safe places to play after school. This toolkit is designed to help coalitions educate their communities on ways to make this vision a reality. Along with the Master Toolkit there are fact sheets to give to advocates and decision makers, flyers, postcards, web banners, print ads, ...

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Water Works: A Guide to Improving Water Access and Consumption in Schools to Improve Health and Support Learning



Want to get better water access at your school but don't know where to start? The Water Works Implementation Guide can help you develop a comprehensive program to increase access to safe, appealing, low-cost drinking water sources in your school. It also provides ideas, materials, and resources to help you increase water consumption among the school community. Finally, the guide provides resources to help you evaluate the impact of your water program. The guide can be found at waterinschools.org, which also houses fact sheets and case studies about schools that have brought water back on to campus. Development of this guide was supported by a grant from the San Francisco Foundation and from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through its Healthy Eating Research program. Check ...

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Youth Help Popular Corner Store Advertise the Good Stuff in Massachusetts



In the small, multicultural city of Lynn, Mass., minorities make up almost half the population, with Latinos making up almost a third. With obesity on the rise in the area, many groups are stepping up to make healthy changes where they live, work, and play. Local corners stores, where many kids hang out before and after school, are well-positioned to make a positive impact on kids’ food choices—if they are marketing the right foods. A group of high-school students chose one popular corner store to help promote healthy snacks and make it easier for teens to pick apples over chips—contributing to a wave of new healthy markets sweeping over Massachusetts. EMERGENCE Awareness: The small city of Lynn, Massachusetts gets more diverse every day. The Latino population grew from 18% to ...

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Second Largest School District in U.S. Transforms Lunch with Meatless Mondays



Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the second-largest district in the United States, serving breakfast and lunch in more than 1,200 schools daily. Since the early 2000s they have been creating a healthy food culture that teaches students about healthy eating and introduces them to many new foods, while embracing federal nutritional standards as they improve over time. LAUSD has banned soda and junk food from campus, removed flavored milks, and brought healthy breakfasts to the classroom. A recent accomplishment, pushed by LAUSD Director of Food Services David Binkle and other school leaders, is removing what they call “kid food” from their cafeterias—instead serving healthy meals with flavors and ingredients from a variety of cultures and backgrounds—including ...

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Missouri Considers Healthy Eating Initiative at Farmers’ Markets



Latinos comprise 41% of Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and 15% of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants. Changes in these types of food assistance programs that allow healthier food purchases have been proven to increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk by children. In Missouri, some law-makers are hoping these types of healthy changes will be put into legislation. A State House panel heard testimony in late February 2014 on legislation that would give bonus dollars to food assistance participants who buy fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets.  Supporters say the measure would cut down on obesity in low-income households and reduce costs for obesity-related illnesses. Under the bill, the state would set up a ...

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