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 have 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.
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Healthier Schools: What‘s New?
Napa Valley Unified School District, (33.9% Latino) operates 32 schools within the district and now is working towards healthier and tastier school lunches as parents have come together to lobby for the district to change what it offers for students lunches. The lunch reform movement started in recent years with a passionate group of parents that … Read morePosted on .
Students at Western High School in Las Vegas (64.7% Latino), now have their very own yoga studio thanks to a unique partnership between sportswear retailer Lululemon and Create a Change Now, a Las Vegas non-profit agency. The two groups and local artists D2 came together to transform an old storage space into a state-of-the art … Read morePosted on .
Within the Pasadena Unified School District (53.6% Latino students), students at Altadena’s Franklin Elementary School celebrate their first harvest from their school garden, Fox Farm. According to Pasadena Now, Franklin Elementary School is considered one of the most underserved elementary schools in the District (72% Latino), where more than 40% are English learners, more than … Read morePosted on .
A new “Lean & Green” movement is helping schools all around the nation incorporate vegetarian meals and more vegetables into school lunches. Creating an event similar to the popular television show top chef, Laredo independent school district (98.9% Latino) is holding its own top chef event through the support of The Humane Society of the … Read morePosted on .
TimeNews recently reported about how water bottles, hydrations stations, morning miles and a new playground are all a part of a bigger movement to get kids healthy in Sullivan County, Tenn where over 72.9% of adults are overweight or obese. A new campaign that works with the schools is taking root and helping to bring clean and easily … Read morePosted on .
One of four U.S. kids is already overweight or obese by age 2-5, with a higher prevalence among Latino kids (30%) than white kids (21%). This is a problem because children aren’t “outgrowing” overweight and obesty. Children who are overweight when they enter kindergarten are four times more likely to be obese in 8th grade compared to … Read morePosted on .
Physical activity is linked with academic achievement; however, Latino schools and neighborhoods often have fewer opportunities for kids to be active. Many Latino schools across the country are trying to get students more active to improve student performance and reduce health disparities. Kids who receive physical education (PE) in school are more active outside of school, according to the … Read morePosted on .
PHIT America shares 10+ Research Projects on how physical activity improves academic performance. University of Illinois – “Physically Fit Kids Have Beefier Brains” University of Illinois Urbana – “How Exercise Can Boost Young Brains” Dartmouth – “12 minutes of exercise improves attention and reading comprehension” Purdue University – “Kids working out get better grades” Medical University of South … Read morePosted on .
We all know that healthy students learn better, but what can schools do to help? Rangerville Elementary School in San Benito Consolidated Independent School District in San Benito, TX (90.7% Latino), decreased the amount of time kids spend sitting at their desks and increased the amount of time kids spend being physically active by providing more time … Read morePosted on .
In March 2016, President Barack Obama launched the Opportunity Project calling for technologists, local governments, and community groups to harness technology and innovation to expand access to opportunity for all Americans (17.6% Latino). The result? Non-profits, companies, and students built 29 new digital tools-during an 8-week software development sprint-using federal and local data to help communities … Read morePosted on .
Since 2012, Minnesota (5.2% Latino) school districts have been working to expand farm-to-school fresh food options within school lunches, buying local fresh fruits and vegetables and serving up whole-grain fresh bread. Over 27 kitchens within the state now offer fresh, cooked from scratch meals, Bertrand Weber, Minneapolis Public Schools Nutrition director explained to the StarTribune. … Read morePosted on .
In working on reducing food waste since new rules went into effect in 2012, School Lunch Advisory Councils (SLACs) are now asking students to help other students eat healthier. SLACS, which are composed of a food service director, an educator, and two or three students, are using behavioral economics like encouraging students to nudge or … Read morePosted on .
Get ready to get excited about healthy school food by celebrating national farm-to-school month! Every October farmers, families, students, educators and food enthusiasts of all ages celebrate healthy school food and raise awareness about improving child nutrition for all kids in all schools through farm-to-school programs. Our farm-to-school Salud Heroes have helped schools incorporate healthy … Read morePosted on .
Owatonna Public Schools in Steele County Minnesota (7.5% Latino) are celebrating National Farm to School month this October by continuing to implement healthy changes in school lunches. Since 2014 the district has been working with local vendors as much as possible, after receiving $100,000 in grants from Blue Cross Blue Sheild of Minnesota and the … Read morePosted on .
Sodium is found in many processed food products, like cheese, lunch meats, and even in some foods we don’t expect, like frozen lunches, canned beans or salted nuts. Many times when packing a lunch for our kids we tend to forget daily recommendations for our kid’s sugar and sodium intake, but the American Heart Association … Read morePosted on .