Monday, October 01, 2007

Keeping kids healthy at their day job


…Healthy Schools Campaign and School Health Corp. have released The Quick and Easy Guide to School Wellness, a multimedia guide filled with practical advice for school nurses, teachers, aminsitrators, parents, and students to keep the school environment healthy.

…You will find many case studies, tip sheets, ideas that have worked, and so on.

…It’s not all “let’s fire the lunch ladies who made fatty foods,” either.

…The program has five parts: Improving food at school, increasing exercise, teaching good nutrition, encouraging staff wellness, and engaging parents.

…With respect to those parents, the program's creators realize parents are busy and harried or may have strong ideas of what they want done, to the exclusion of other approaches. Say they want only organic foods served or sold.

…Still there are things parents can do. Make the cafeteria more appealing, consult the kids, get them involved.

…Suggest selling bottled water at all events (there is now a movement against this).

…Eat with your kids (ask first). See what they are choosing—or trading.

…Meet with the food service staff and learn about their challenges and budget (and hairnet styles).

…Check up on the school’s health quotient—how many vending machines are there? Are there fast-food joints nearby and can kids go there?

…In this area, we have a continuing debate on whether HS kids should be allowed to pile into cars and race off to lunch. There have been fatalities and this is not healthy by definition.

...Any other ideas for healthier schools, readers?

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