Banner: Healthier Schools

Healthy school environments are paramount for the proper development of Latino children, given the rising percentage of Latino students enrolled in public schools and the higher rates of obesity among Latino children than other racial/ethnic groups.

How can healthy schools be the norm for Latinos?

Implementing and enforcing stronger nutrition standards for competitive foods and beverages will help all students access to healthier snacks at school, which may positively influence body mass index (BMI) trends for all populations, especially those at greatest risk of being overweight or obese.

Because Latino students engage in less physical activity both in and out of school than their peers, implementing programs that reduce barriers may increase active play opportunities for Latino kids.

Moreover, regulation of the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children will help positively influence the quality of their diets.

Download Our New 2016 Healthier Schools Research Review, Issue Brief, and Infographics!

Research_reviewResearch Review
Healthy Snacks - Healthier School ConcessionsIssue Brief
Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 2.55.22 PMInfographic: Food
Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 2.50.50 PMInfographic: Physical Activity

Healthier Schools: What‘s New?

See SA! Changes SA! Resources Salud Heroes in this topic.

SA! Change Minneapolis School Board and Park Board Approve MOU for City Swims Program

vamosswimming -a-nadar2

Minneapolis Public School District, Minnesota

Grassroots efforts to improve equitable access to swimming facilities in a low-income neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minn. (10.5% Latino), spurred a formalized Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the school board and parks board to more efficiently provide accessible, inclusive, high quality athletic and fitness opportunities and facilities for all children in Minneapolis. On June 14, 2016 the Minneapolis Public … Read more

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SA! Change Montana school sets healthier standards on lunch food and beverage options

Apple break

Bozeman High School District, Montana

Currently at Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Montana, students are still able to reach for their favorite soda or sports drink at lunch. According to a local news article, earlier this year, the high school was selling 2,000 bottles of Gatorade a month. Now, healthier beverages and school food recommendations from the schools’ 15-member Food … Read more

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SA! Change Soccer mom creates healthy snack movement in Ohio

(Picture from 100 days of real food blog:

Columbus, Ohio

Mom and registered dietician in Columbus, Ohio, Sally Kuzemchak, calls herself a “soccer mom on a mission” after she found out that her kids were eating junk food and sugary beverages at all their sports and after school events. Sally saw the need to have her two kids fuel up on more than the usual … Read more

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SA! Change California Thursdays are a big hit for school lunches

Angel Alvarez, a seventh grader who attends San Ysidro Middle School, enjoys the new grilled fish taco made from fresh, local ingredients. (Photo Source: David Hodges- The San Diego Union-Tribune)

San Ysidro Elementary School District, California

What are California Thursdays? A new wave of fresh farm-to-school lunches is popping up in California schools- serving fresh fish tacos and kale slaw among other locally sourced foods to a dozen school districts within the San Diego County school district. California Thursdays are a new farm-to-school program focused on creating healthier school meals from … Read more

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SA! Change Kids experience international flavors at school

Students eating lunch at Mountain Lake Public Schools. (Photo Source: KEYC News 12)

Mountain Lake Public Schools, Minnesota

Whoever said school lunches had to be boring? Schools in Mountain Lake, Minn. want to make sure students not only enjoy healthier school lunches but also hope to let kids experience different cultural foods and flavors from around the world. The new flavors come from Taher Regional Chefs who have visited other parts of the … Read more

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SA! Change Chefs in schools collaborative cooks up farm fresh lunches

Chef Chris Byrd, left, works with food service staff at Caneyville Elementary in Grayson County to create their own seasoning recipe for spaghetti and meatballs. (Photo source: WKU public Radio)

Grayson County, Kentucky

Schools across eight Kentucky counties now get to enjoy fresh food from local farmers in their school lunches. The counties involved are Grayson, Boyle, Clark, Oldham, Harlan, Martin, Morgan and Pike. All are now part of the new initiative for healthier and tastier school lunches. Chefs worked with local food service staff in March to … Read more

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SA! Change ALDI grocer to partner and invest in schools health initiatives

Kids enjoy a brain break with exercise. (Photo source: Action for Healthy Kids)


Southern California schools are about to get help and funding from an unexpected source, a local grocery store. According to a recent article, the ALDI grocery store has recently partnered with Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) to invest in 15 Southern California area schools to improve overall wellness environments through grants and technical assistance for the … Read more

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SA! Change Healthier packed lunches may help kids have healthy habits in adulthood

Mom packing kids lunch for school. (istock)

United States

A new study from researchers from the University of Adelaide studied over four hundred South Australian children ages 9 to 10 in various socioeconomic status and found that 91 % of students were missing daily recommended amounts of vegetables. The study also found that intake of sodium, sugar and saturated fat were excessive, which can … Read more

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SA! Resource New study shows how ADHD is reduced with healthy behaviors


According to researchers from the American University in Washington, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) behaviors may be reduced with healthier living habits. Reducing screen time, drinking more water and making time for exercise were all recommendations by lead study author Kathleen Holton, who explained in a recent article that all kids who follow these healthy … Read more

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SA! Change Santa Barbara County works together to ensure healthy food access


Santa Barbara, California

Working together, local government and non-profits in Santa Barbara, Calif. (43.74% Latino) are redesigning the food environment to focus on health and sustainability. According to a local article, over half of county residents are overweight or obese, and face difficulties in access to healthy foods, affordable housing, health care and more. A Community Health Needs … Read more

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SA! Resource Middle school program helped students loose weight long term


A new program called Students for Nutrition and Exercise (SNaX) is helping obese students in Southern California have healthier weights for longer periods of time. According to a recent article, SNax combined school-wide environmental changes, encouragement fo healthy eating, healthy foods in cafeterias and peer-led education and marketing to help students change their body mass index (BMI). … Read more

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SA! Change Parent speaks out about unhealthy, cheesy school lunch options

Resident Theresa Turco proposes changes for healthier school menu choices. (Photo source:

Madison Borough School District, New Jersey

Advocate and parent Theresa Turco wants healthier meals for her student’s district. Speaking out and giving ideas, while passing out a menu, Turco explained in a recent news article that meals were too focused on unhealthy items like pizza, mozzarella sticks, and nachos. Turco offered up suggestions at a Board of Education meeting on May 224th, … Read more

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SA! Change Student approved meals gain success in South Carolina

Students at Laurens School District 56 gather around school garden. (Photo Source:

Laurens School District 56, South Carolina

What’s a good way to make sure students eat the new healthy foods schools are trying to implement across the nation? Taste Tests! A school district in South Carolina, Laurens 56 school district, has worked with kids, offering taste tests to try the new healthy school food swaps, before putting them on the school menu. … Read more

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Public Hub Hub Tree: Salud America!

Salud America! is a national online network of researchers, community group leaders, decision-makers, and members of the public working together to support healthy policy and environmental changes that can help reverse obesity among Latino children.

The network, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a project of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Policies, comments, external links, and contributed stories and images are not affiliated with Salud America!, RWJF, or The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by these organizations.

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