Each month, our staff reads hundreds of media reports on the subject of school nutrition. We curate our favorites in a monthly blog post we call, “In the News.” Highlighting positive stories about the great things going on in school cafeterias helps us in many ways: providing inspiration, connecting school nutrition professionals from across the country, and promoting those programs and individuals who are taking the extra step to make their school nutrition program the very best it can be.
Between the Community Eligibility Option and increasing interest in universal breakfast-in-the-classroom, school breakfast headlines were prominent in September. In addition, many states are holding school breakfast challenges aimed at increasing awareness of, and participation in, school breakfast programs; check out the information and resources available through Ohio’s “Eat Right, Be Bright” school breakfast challenge, Michigan’s “Boost Breakfast” campaign, and Pennsylvania’s school breakfast challenge.
Another great piece on school breakfast came courtesy of our friends—and Partners for Breakfast-in-the-Classroom—Madeline Levin of FRAC, and Annalise Cohon of NEA HIN. The women recently co-authored a blog post entitled ‘Top 5 Questions About School Breakfast Answered’ which proved very popular with our Facebook fans! Another article that was a big hit on our Facebook page was this one from the Daily Meal entitled ’11 Things Parents Need to Know About School Lunch Programs’. Both of these lists are great resources to share with parents, teachers, and students on your school district’s or SN program’s Facebook page.
Fuel Up to Play 60
We love Fuel Up to Play 60, and we love their new fall ‘For the Love of Play’ campaign! It combines three things that we are very passionate about: physical activity, social media, and Fuel Up to Play 60! Students are encouraged to take “healthy selfies” and to share them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the chance to win great prizes! Learn more about the ‘For the Love of Play’ campaign in the Fuel Up to Play 60 September newsletter.
Two more FUTP60 headlines that caught our eye last month made us smile, so we wanted to share them as well. First, in West Salem, Wisconsin, there is a corn maze in the shape of the Fuel Up to Play 60 logo! The twelve acre maze actually contains four mazes, and features five miles of paths for visitors to follow. Talk about a fun way to get moving! The second FUTP60 story that made us smile included a picture of New York Giants Star Victor Cruz hula-hooping for Fuel Up to Play 60. In his role as program ambassador, Cruz spoke with students, encouraging them to make healthy choices for themselves, including making time for physical activity and eating breakfast.
Fresh from the Garden
Just in time for National Farm to School month, we have a bushel of yummy fruit-and-veggie-related news for you! We love the recent post over at the USDA blog by Dr. Robert Lewis of the El Monte School District, in which Dr. Lewis writes about his district’s efforts to improve the lives of students using health-promoting messages in the classroom. One method employed by Dr. Lewis is to invite local farmers to the classroom to help teach students about the food they eat, and to peak their curiosity to try new things. We love this sentence in particular: “Once kids saw how broccoli or red cabbage grows, you can bet they wanted to taste them both in the garden and in the cafeteria.”
If you receive SNA’s Smart Brief newsletter you may recognize this story out of Holmen, Wisconsin, where students will add “raising chickens” to their efforts to bring more local food to cafeteria trays. All schools in the district have gardens, and the school garden program proved so popular and successful that it was the students themselves who suggested adding chicken farming to the mix.