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! 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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SA! Change New Arizona law lets kids eat fresh from the school gardens



According to recent local news, kids in Arizona schools that have school garden produce will now get to crunch into their fresh-cut carrots. Existing law required that the Department of Health Services adopt regulations to ensure all food and or drink being sold at retail and provided for consumption be free from dirt, or disease- … Read more

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SA! Change Madison School District Parents Requesting More Time for Recess


Madison Elementary District, Arizona

In 2015, Madison Elementary School District parent, Christine Davis, began looking into the school districts policies regarding time for recess and daily exercise. She made phone calls and sent emails to school administrators to gather information. She found that from the state level down, the policies were vague and the ones that were in place … Read more

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SA! Resource Increased Physical Activity Associated with Lower Risk of 13 Types of Cancer


A new study by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the American Cancer Society shows that greater levels of leisure-time physical activity are associated with a lower risk of developing 13 different types of cancer. Leisure-time physical activity is separate from physical activity done at work or at … Read more

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SA! Resource Resource about Food Marketing to Children: Digital Module


To help increase awareness of unhealthy food and beverage marketing and inspire collective action to make positive changes in communities, schools and other places that children gather, the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity created a set of presentations as a resource for advocates to spread the word about unhealthy food and beverage … Read more

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SA! Change MN school district ditches deep-fat fryers

Richard Fleming, cafeteria manager at Susan B. West school prepares fried catfish with old school fryers before lunch Wednesday. (Photo source: The Democrat)

Natchez-Adams School District, Mississippi

The south is a place well-known for deep fried foods, but now Natchez-Adams school district cafeterias in Miss. are ditching the deep fryers. The districts are working to have healthier options in their schools and increase physical activity breaks among the district, by replacing fryers with steamers, learning new ways to cook healthy foods, and opting … Read more

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SA! Resource Educational resource on “Food Marketing in Schools”

Girl in school lunch line.

Many parents are unaware of the marketing kids see in their schools about food. Many times, kids are marketed unhealthy food options as large food companies sponsor school activities and events. What does it teach kids when the products are featured in the halls, cafeterias, vending machines and athletic fields are the same ones that … Read more

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SA! Change School Health Initiative Program kicks off in Williamsburg-James City County Schools

WJCC Students participate in the “Run the Dog” 5K. (Courtesy Williamsburg Health Foundation)

Williamsburg City Public Schools, Virginia

Working to make the healthy choice the easy choice, the School Health Initiative Program (SHIP) is activating kids in schools through fun activities and challenges for students to be active and eat healthily. On April 23rd, 2016, students from the Williamsburg-James City County Schools (WJCC) participated in a 5K and also led demonstrations in karate, … Read more

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SA! Change Minnesota Bill Proposes that the DOE Employs a Swimming and Water Safety Specialist

CSC Browards other


On April 6, 2016, Minnesota Representative Karen Clark introduced HF 3830, and Minnesota Senator Patricia Torres Ray introduced companion bill SF 3472, directing the Department of Education to employ a swimming and water safety specialist and appropriate money. This comes after the Minnesota Department of Education report on swimming resources inventory. Section 1. SWIMMING AND … Read more

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SA! Change School gardens planted for healthier diets

Christine Berthold with Fresh Start Gardens helps Crisafulli School fifth-grader Sam Henderson, 11, plant a seed at the school on Friday. The company is planting gardens at all Westford schools as part of a healthy diet program with the help of Circle Health. (Photo source: SUN/JOHN LOVE)

Westford School District, Vermont

Westford Elementary school is working with Fresh Start Food Gardens and Circle Health to bring fresh fruits and vegetables into the diets of their students, promoting healthy eating with a “seed to stomach” process. The partnership has helped bring in two raised beds for school gardens that have let students plant seeds and harvest their own … Read more

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SA! Change High school students get empowered to change their lunchrooms

Natoshia Askelson, assistant professor at the UI College of Public Health and project lead (center), explains the self-assessment process to 10th-grade students at Muscatine High School. The students photographed what they observed and answered questions about how well their cafeteria focused on fruit, promoted vegetables and salads, and displayed health dairy items like white milk. (Photo by Tim Schoon)


A new movement towards healthier lunchrooms is happening in Iowa high schools by empowering students to assess and change their lunchrooms, helping to let take charge within their schools in making the healthy choice, the easy choice. Students are allowed to help change their lunchrooms through the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement, that applies the Cornell Center for … Read more

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SA! Change Lunch lady gets students to try new healthy food options

Margaret Liljedahl from Cornell Cooperative Extension in Newark, NY, helps out with kale chip sampling at Clyde-Savannah Elementary School. Donna Riviello was named the state's Food Service Director the year for inventive ideas like this. (Photo source:

Clyde-Savannah Central School District, New York

Want to get your kids to eat vegetables? A lunch lady from New York has cracked the code on how to get picky eaters to eat healthier foods like kale and beans. Donna Riviello, the food service director at Clyde-Savannah Central School District has helped kids try unfamiliar vegetables in school lunches like kale, sweet … 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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