Posts tagged schools

Kids and Health: The Decline of Good Nutrition and Fitness Programs in Schools

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Kids: Get them Moving & Eating Healthier. They will Learn More. Guaranteed!

Physical Activity

During my training as a CrossFit Kids coach, we really dived into how much research is available regarding how exercise and physical fitness helps kids learn. Getting kids to move throughout their day is vital to their learning. So when I hear about schools cutting or lessening recess and gym time in schools it makes no sense at all.  it’s PROVEN that having kids move will help them learn, which is why they are at school in the first place. We want them to do better, learn what they are supposed learn, develop the important skills to help them succeed in life.  We know that the two biggest health threats to our kids today are Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity – and we know that both can be lessened and managed with proper diet and exercise –but yet we don’t put an emphasis on either of these in our schools. It’s the #thingsthatmakeyousayhmmm…. 

Here are some articles that go into some of the harm that comes out of cutting recess and gym time:

Nutrition standards

They are starting to make changes in the lunch offerings at the schools — but there is no concerted national effort to really make changes. When I do a Google search, I see articles about specific schools pushing through changes but nothing that sweeps the nation.  From time to time, I meet my kids for lunch at their cafeteria and man –what they call a salad – iceberg lettuce, a few shreds of lettuce and maybe, a non-appetizing tomato. That’s a salad!??  In the tinest bowl and of course rich, high fat, high caloric dressings available in abundance.  

Both my kids bring their lunch — Nate is gluten free so I really don’t have a choice and HB prefers what I offer. Its not strict Paleo but it’s definitely healthier than what they can get there.

Reading this article about food workers attending the School Nutrition Association conference in Denver this summer — they offer some good tips and advice. 

A Colorado State University professor studied the dining habits of kids in Loveland, with an eye toward measuring ways to get them to choose healthier foods. Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, who photographed “before” and “after” pictures of kids’ lunch trays, found that kids eat more fruits and vegetables if they have lunch after recess, instead of before recess. She found that corn consumption went up when generic “corn” labels were replaced with colorful cards describing the vegetable as “mellow yellow corn.”

“Don’t put veggies in opaque containers or give them boring labels like ‘corn,’” Cunningham-Sabo told the lunch workers, showing diagrams of how to lay out a service line to encourage trips to the salad bar.

Another trick — just like supermarkets place impulse buys like candy and chewing gum by the checkout, lunch lines should place easy-to-grab fruits and veggies by their own cash registers. Her study saw cafeterias double their sales of fresh fruit when they placed it colorful bowls in a convenient place.

Think about the local school cafeterias – they certainly don’t spend a lot of time on presentation or marketing. Kids love marketing –hence it’s a multi-billion dollar industry and our kids want that sugary cereal or latest toy that breaks weeks after you buy it.  If you make an effort, it shows.  Those cafeteria’s don’t scream Fun to me! 

Whenever we go to a potluck or party, without fail –the stuff that is eaten & finished first is the homemade food.  People appreciate that it was made and not store bought.  A little effort goes a long way and our kids’ nutrition and health is more than worth the effort. 

Here are some related articles to get you thinking about ways to approach this with your own kids:

 

My workout this AM was about Sumo Deadlift High Pulls! Some people love em, some don’t. I’m in the middle — when I have my form great, they are great! I had a lot of issues with catching my breath this morning. This humid air is killing my lungs!

Warmup

  • 800m jog
  • DROM
  • Drills
  • Shuttle Run
  • 10 Pass Thrus x2
  • 10 Good Mornings x2

Skill
SDHP
K2E

WOD
20,15,10

  • SDHP (65#)
  • KTE

5:54 – I had to stop and breathe more than I would have liked!

 

Why are Healthy Food Choices in Schools So Hard to Offer?

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This morning I got to sleep in –now that Weds are my rest days but I gotta tell you –half my family was cranky. Lots of snapping and crying and complaining was heard from them. Kind of makes for a tough start to your day — but start my day I have….

Here’s a piece in CNN from Jaime Oliver that interested me:

As a parent — setting up the healthy foundation for my kids is a priority, especially since I know first hand how hard it is to change your ways as a grown up — so getting junk food out of schools is important to me —

(CNN) — Your kids deserve better. Because Congress failed to pass the Child Nutrition Bill last week, bad school lunches will remain bad.

While the bill wasn’t perfect, it would have created stronger nutritional standards and provided more money for the school lunch program — adding six cents per lunch for the first time in 30 years. This was the first step on the long ladder to fresh food, and now it’s a missed opportunity.

Among other things, this bill would have banned the junk food that is served in schools and competes with the fresh food your kids need. Eating this junk every day will take 10 years off their lives and cost you a fortune — adding thousands of dollars to the family health care tab.

Schoolkids deserve more than junk food

Childhood Nutrition a Serious Issue in Schools

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Childhood Nutrition a Serious Issue in Schools | Fresh Healthy Vending.

Childhood nutrition plays a very big role in a child’s well being physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. A child who is not properly nourished can have difficulties in focusing with his/her academic performance in school. His/her physical appearance especially those who are overweight can also lead to low self-esteem because they are most likely to be teased or bullied by other children. Children with low-self esteem often have a hard time interacting with other kids which greatly affects their social life.As more cases of obesity increase year by year, schools have been paying more attention to their student’s health. Most schools have been making a big makeover with the food they offer in their ala carte and school vending options. More fruits and vegetables are being offered and less of the fried and greasy foods. Sugared sodas have also been banned in schools. With the joint efforts of schools and the government, children are being educated with what healthy eating can do for them and how it can help them become healthier and better individuals.Aside from offering healthier food choices, schools are also encouraged to provide physical activities for their students. Most students don’t get daily physical education.

About eight percent of elementary schools, 6.4 percent of middle school and only 5.8 percent of high schools have daily physical education each school year. If the school increases physical education even just by having an hour per week, then children will learn more about their health and will know how to take care of their selves better.Parents believe that educating children about exercise and proper nutrition is very important. More physical education means less risk of childhood obesity. The amount of physical education recommended by the federal government per week is five hours.Another way to teach kids about food is by getting the kids involved with planting gardens in schools. Studies show that children who are involved with planting food have higher vegetable intake than children who do not have garden programs in their schools. Growing food also promotes environmental awareness to kids. This activity can be both beneficial for our children’s health and the environment’s health as well.

It’s going to end up biting us in the ass

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Rachael Ray Lobbies Capitol for School Lunch Bill – NYTimes.com.

Instead, she grimaced, leaned in and sounded off about the federal Child Nutrition Act and what she considers to be the government’s stingy reimbursement rates for school lunches. “Ridiculous,” she said.

Rachel Ray also has a non-profit called Yum-o! Check it out for good recipes and ideas to empower kids to develop a healthy relationship with food!

Yum-o!® is a nonprofit organization that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking by teaching families to cook, feeding hungry kids and funding cooking education and scholarships.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

This food revolution is about saving America’s health by changing the way you eat. It’s not just a TV show, it’s a movement for you, your family and your community. If you care about your kids and their future take this revolution and make it your own. Educate yourself about food and cooking. Find out what your child is eating at school. Make only a few small changes and magical things will happen. Switching from processed to fresh food will not only make you feel better but it will add years to your life.

It’s so hard to argue for this stuff in the face of serious budget cuts all over the country in education. Read this article:  http://nyti.ms/9sLGYS to understand the extreme measures that some states are having to take to educate our children in the midst of an economic crisis. Asking for changes in nutritional guidelines and assistance costs money too. Money they already don’t have.  We are asking people what is more important – kid’s health or their education? The mere fact that we have to even ask that question is mind boggling…they are both important and non-negotiable to our future.

And while you are learning about the shortfalls in education, you turn the page to read about the record profits at banking institutions and oil companies. It’s so hard to fathom that we can’t possibly find the budget dollars to invest in education and health without having to short another important program when we know in the end, the lack of investing in both education and nutrition will come back around and bite us in the ass.

Lack of a quality education =lack of innovation, economic progress, less ability to compete and thrive on a global level (to name a few)

Lack of education about and access of good nutrition = increase in cancer rates, increase in obesity rates, increase in health care needs (to name a few).

Sigh…

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