Posts

Make a Difference, Join Your Healthy School Team

Lakemont Elementary's Healthy School Team kicks off the 2015-16 school year with their first meeting of the year.

Lakemont Elementary’s Healthy School Team kicks off the 2015-16 school year.

Looking for ways to inspire students to eat a few more fruits and vegetables and move more?  Want to have a voice in the health and wellness activities in your child’s school?  Join your school’s Healthy School Team (HST).

HSTs were created and modeled in Winter Park Consortium schools—Winter Park High School and its 10 elementary and middle feeder schools—with support from the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) beginning in 2002. The teams—charged with coming up with activities to promote healthy lifestyles for students and staff in their own schools—are now required in every public school in Florida.

As a parent, you know your children and their needs better than anyone. By getting involved with your child’s healthy school team, you can help create, monitor and enhance school policies that will improve the school environment.

To find out more about your school’s HST, including meeting schedule, areas of focus, and membership, follow these steps:

 

1. Determine who your HST leader is.  Click on your school’s name on Healthy Kids Today, then look for “Healthy School Team Leader” to find your HST leader.

2. Contact your HST leader.  Explain your interest in the HST, ask about work the group has already done and what opportunities there are for you to get involved.

3. Ask when and where the next HST meeting will be held. HSTs may be holding open forums for the public, but most will be meeting as a small group.

4. Share your thoughts and ideas.  Discuss what you think the school could do to help promote healthy food, nutrition education and exercise opportunities for your children.

Do you have additional questions or comments about Healthy School Teams? Email us at healthykidstoday@wphf.org

 

Turkey Wrap with Veggie Cream Cheese

[gmc_recipe 4828]

Shop Smart for Fruits and Veggies

HealthyWP0301Eating healthy is easy even if you’re on a budget.  You just need to shop smart.  There are many low-cost ways to get the recommended amount of fruits and veggies.   ChooseMyPlate.gov has put together a great list of tips.  We’ve picked our 3 favorites, but for the entire list click here.

  • Celebrate The Season – Use fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season.  They are easy to get, have more flavor and are usually less expensive.  Your local farmer’s market is a great source of seasonal produce. 
  • Keep It Simple – Buy veggies and fruits in their simplest form.  Pre-cut, pre-washed, ready-to-eat and processed foods are convenient but are often much more expensive then their basic forms.
  • Plant Your Own – Start a garden – in your yard or in pots on your deck – for fresh, inexpensive and flavorful additions to meals.  Herbs, cucumbers, peppers or tomatoes are good options for beginners.
    • Visit Our Whole Community for locations on local community gardens and for information on how to start your own garden. 

Hungerford Students Coached on Healthy Eating and Activity

IMG_3583All types of foods can be incorporated into a healthy diet. The keys are choice and portion control.

Ricky Shaw, Hungerford Elementary Healthy School Team Leader and physical education teacher, recruited a health coach for a select group of his students to teach them about how to make healthy eating choices on March 6. This was part of an ongoing effort by the Healthy School Team to improve the health of Hungerford’s students and facility.

The program promoted, Stop Slow Go, explains the “Go” foods good to eat at most any time, the “slow” foods you should eat in moderation and the “stop” foods that should be avoided or limited. The differences are emphasized by using a stoplight with red, yellow and green lights. The students were shown pictures of food and asked which group they thought the item belonged to—Go, Slow or Stop.  Students also learned about the different food groups and examples of healthy options in each.

After the health coach finished her presentation, the students took 30 minutes to exercise on YMCA-donated kid-sized exercise equipment .  Each child got on a machine and exercised for a few minutes before rotating to the next one.   The importance of the program was to show the students that healthy nutrition can be simple and delicious and that exercise can be fun. The program was an apparent success because at the end, all of the students said they liked exercising because it was fun.

For more information on Hungerford Elementary click here and for more information on the Healthy School Team program click here.