Better Drink? Water vs. Milk in School Lunches


water bottle filling school latino girl

Many American kids eat two out of three meals at school. Schools must offer healthy food and drinks, especially for Latino students who are more likely than their peers to face an unhealthy weight, unhealthy neighborhood food options, and unhealthy early development. That's why schools should offer plain water with meals—not milk. So says a new study by University of Illinois researcher Ruopeng An, which encouraged children to drink plain water with their school lunches. This simple switch from milk to water at school could prevent more than a half-million kids from becoming overweight or obese, and trim the costs of obesity by more than $13 billion, An's study suggests. "The nutrition profile doesn't change much when people increase their plain-water intake, but we ...

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Outdoor Learning Environments Soon Available in TX



Texas (39.1% Latino population) is launching five Outdoor Learning Environment demonstration sites across the state, three of which are at early childcare centers. This is great news for many Latino students across the state. Currently, children today can spend 8-10 hours a day in childcare. However, like many Latino-majority schools, childcare facilities offer less time for kids to play and be active. As early as age four, Latino children face gaps in academic performance and disparities in obesity. Latino kids need safe places to play and be active to reduce obesity and boost academic achievement. Naturalize Outdoor Playgrounds Play – particularly play in nature – is critical for healthy child development. Nature supports creative problem solving, enhances cognitive ...

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What It Means to ‘Take Care of One Another’ at One Latino High School



Salud America! Guest Blogger Denise Rosales, P.E. Teacher, Mission Collegiate High School, Mission, Texas At Mission Collegiate High School, nestled on the Mexican border, we’re more than just a school. We’re a close-knit family who believes that health is the foundation of life, so we take care of one another’s well-being. Together, our 45 staff and 435 students helped Mission Collegiate earn a spot on the Alliance for Healthier Generation’s 2017 America’s Healthiest Schools list, for the second year in a row! We’re particularly proud of our achievement because nearly 100 percent of our students are Hispanic and economically disadvantaged, and the majority are either first-generation high school or college students. Our staff understand the positive effect good ...

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Historic Climb: California Bans Unhealthy Food Marketing in Schools


sugary drinks in schools

On Oct. 15, 2017, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that bans schools from marketing unhealthy foods that are not allowed to be sold or served in schools. This law, Assembly Bill 841, also forbids schools from partnering with companies for programs that reward students with foods or drinks that do not meet USDA Smart Snacks in School regulations and other standards. The idea is to help students make healthier food choices. "This law will help ensure that students receive consistent messages from their schools about the importance of proper nutrition as well as reinforce parents’ efforts to help their children choose healthy foods," according to a report by Changelab Solutions. This will lead to "healthier students who are better able to thrive academically." Latino ...

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Guest Blog: Why Every Child Deserves a Healthy School



Salud America! Guest Blogger Alliance for a Healthier Generation Alvord Unified School District (64% Latino) is giving students more opportunities to get active and eat healthier in Riverside, Calif. Now they're getting national recognition for their health and wellness efforts. Eight of Alvord Unified's schools earned a place on the 2017 list of America’s Healthiest Schools by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Wells Middle School earned the highest level of recognition. How’d they do it? They got support from district leaders, parents, teachers, and the entire community. “We were able to provide parent education courses with topics that included the importance of breakfast, meal planning, understanding food labels, saving money on food and healthy ...

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Teachers Connect Children with Nature One Day a Week


Outdoor Education Source Andy Manis For the State Journal

What happened when 10 teachers in Wisconsin committed to take their elementary students outside one day a week to explore and play in nature? The students studied the natural world, learned other lessons, and got physical activity outside. Successful outdoor education! "Playing outside is different socially, emotionally and physically than what happens in the classroom," one of the teachers told the the Wisconsin State Journal. Why Is Outdoor Education Good for Kids? Outdoor teaching and recess during school can improve students' learning, and much more. It can boost physical, mental, and emotional health, particularly for Latino kids who don't get as much time for physical activity during the school day. It also can foster a desire to conserve and preserve green space ...

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Rocio Muñoz Embeds School Health Navigators for Latino Parents



Latinos face many barriers to health care, including language differences; complex and confusing documents and processes; lack of knowledge of available services; unreliable transportation; and fear of using government services. One way to increase health equity among Latinos is to remove these barriers. Rocio Muñoz, community health navigator at Benton County Health Department (BCHD), in partnership with the school district, worked to embed bilingual, bicultural health navigators into elementary schools in Corvallis, Ore. (7.4% Latino), to address these identified barriers. The partnership resulted in a model where health navigators are placed in schools to coordinate with students, parents and teachers regarding students’ health records in order to boost access to health ...

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New Science Standards Aim to Boost Latinos’ Interest, Test Scores



California is implementing new standards for teaching science to spark Latinos and African American grade-school students' interest and boost test scores, EdSource reports. The new standards have more hands-on science projects, updated scientific and technological research, feature different fields of science, with less rote memorization. They even recently released a parent's guide in Spanish to explain the changes. The new standards, called the Next Generation Science Standards, offer guidelines for teachers on how to reach students who are English language learners, come from economically disadvantaged homes, are racial/ethnic minorities, or who are otherwise from demographic groups “underrepresented in the science fields.” The hope is that in California, where about ...

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Get Water Bottle Fountains at Your School!


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Classic water fountains aren't always accessible or safe for kids. Water Bottle Fountains are filtered water dispensers for easily filling and refilling water bottles. This gives kids much-needed access to safe drinking water throughout the school day. They help keep kids hydrated while saving families money from buying bottled water. They also help the environment by reducing waste. Salud America! wants to help you get Water Bottle Fountains at your school with our custom-for-you Water Bottle Fountain Action Pack with Coaching! Request an Action Pack to get (at no charge to you): Customized, click-to-send emails, graphics and resources One-on-one support from an Action Pack Coach Ads on Facebook Promotion of your efforts to 100,000+ change-makers 25 Salud ...

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