Action for Healthy Kids

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Cool resource I want to alert you to if you've been trying to, or are interested in, creating a healthier school environment for your children, but are having trouble getting buy-in from your superintendent, administrators, and principals. As you are probably aware, all school districts in the United States must have a current school wellness policy in place that addresses nutrition and physical activity on all campuses. This is a federal mandate but the actual implementation of the policies can be difficult if school leaders aren't on board.

A wonderful organization called Action for Healthy Kids*, has all kinds of tools and materials to help local districts take action to improve nutrition and increase physical activity on school campuses. To address school leadership buy-in, they have recently released the report From the Top Down: Engaging School Leaders in Creating a Healthier, More Physically Active School Environment which chronicles the efforts of 3 school districts that came up with innovative approaches to communicate with, and “recruit” school leaders to get on the healthy school bandwagon. The districts were in Rhode Island, West Virginia and Indiana. They all developed different strategies to convince school leaders about the importance of school wellness and to become actively involved.

Rhode Island set up "Lunch and Learn", onsite free lunches in district leaders' offices. West Virginia sent their principals “Recipe for Success” CDs designed with their busy schedules in mind. And Indiana created the “Healthy Hoosier School Award” enticing school leaders to get involved by offering up a prestigious honor.

Check it out and perhaps one of their techniques may very well work in your district. Go forth and conquer! (Click on the report title above to view it. The file takes a few minutes to download).

Have a fruit and veggie filled day!

*Action for Healthy Kids is a public-private partnership of more than 50 national organizations and government agencies representing education, health, fitness and nutrition. Action for Healthy Kids addresses the epidemic of overweight, sedentary, and undernourished youth by focusing on changes in schools to improve nutrition and increase physical activity.
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About the Author

Registered dietitian Andrea N. Giancoli is a nutrition advocate, consultant and educator.

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