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 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.

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 Testing Scratch Made School Meals For CO

Over 599,000 kids have been helped through LiveWell's initiative for food school. (Photo source: Screenshot from


A new multi-phase school meal assessment process will help implement healthier scratch made meals for the next two years for students in Colorado’s Fort Morgan school district (60.8 % Latino). Like various other districts across the state, Fort Morgan’s School District plans to partner with LiveWell Colorado’ LiveWell@School Food Initiative, a nonprofit movement funded in … Read more

Posted on by .

SA! Change Novato School Saves Water with Meatless Mondays

Cafeteria workers, from left, Heather Camp, Steve Vargas, Miriam Campos and Christine Bok-Osborne make corn salsa on Tuesday at the College of Marin’s Indian Valley campus in Novato. Novato Unified’s food service workers practiced making new recipes for the district’s Meatless Mondays initiative in preparation for the start of the new school year. (Robert Tong/Marin Independent Journal)

Novato Unified School District, California

Since 2008, Novato school district stopped serving red meat for Humane Society’s Meatless Monday initiative. Miguel Villarreal, director of the district’s food and nutritional services told local news the initiative helps them save water. “When you do that math for 2,500 gallons of water per one pound of beef for 1,000 pounds of beef,…over the … Read more

Posted on by .

SA! Change Lawmakers Push for Healthier School Lunch Reimbursements


Oneida County, New York

In Oneida County (5.5% Latino), schools and lawmakers are working to get healthier school lunches for students, putting a petition in for better reimbursements so fresh and local produce can be purchased for the state’s schools to provide locally sourced school lunches. The county is looking to offer healthier meals, with more locally grown produce … Read more

Posted on by .

SA! Resource Missed the Colorado Health Symposium ? See Livestream on YouTube

Screen shot of presenters at the Colorado Health Symposium 2016. (Photo source:

Did you miss the Colorado Health Symposium, “Health is Everyone’s Business” event? Not to worry, archived Live Stream video is available for those interested in seeing the conference’s speakers talk on various topics including reducing health disparities in Colorado, working in and with Latino communities, finding public health solutions, and more. To learn more and view the … Read more

Posted on by .

SA! Change Gardopia Grows Hope & Fresh Foods in San Antonio


San Antonio, Texas

Back in 2011, Stephen Lucke was a student at University of Incarnate Word (UIW) when his idea of Gardopia started to grow. “I was studying biochemistry and I took a nutrition class, and I just really became educated about the obesity epidemic in the United States, ” said Lucke, “You know San Antonio was the most … Read more

Posted on by .

SA! Change More School Salads From Local Farms & School Gardens

Delfinia Garcia, left, and Elena Dibble pack lunches in 2013 at Bahia Vista School in San Rafael. This year, the school district started stocking its cafeterias with produce grown at the San Pedro Elementary School garden. (Photo Source: Robert Tong/Marin Independent Journal)

United States

The 87 Marin schools in Marin County, CA ( 16.0% Latino) are increasing school gardens, farm-to-school education, and local produce to provide kids a healthier school food environment. Kids have various salad options that include fresh vegetables like cabbage, kale, bok choy, cilantro, carrots, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, and strawberries at Lynwood Elementary. Also, local organic milk … Read more

Posted on by .

SA! Resource Gardening Helps Mental and Physical Health


Growing your own food has grown in popularity over the last few years, according to the National Gardening Association who reveal in 2013 over 40 million households are active in some type of urban food gardening. Gardens help the mind and the heart with encouraging light-to- moderate physical activity with digging, planting, pulling and more. The mind can … Read more

Posted on by .

SA! Resource Grant Opportunities For Healthy Eating and Active Living Initiatives

Gorgeous little girl in a seesaw

Incubator grant opportunities are open for up to $30,000 dollars to support innovative advocacy approaches that align with Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Heart Association, and Voices for Healthy Kids are collaborating with a team of experts across healthy eating and active living with the initiative to mobilize … Read more

Posted on by .

SA! Change School Food in Vicksburg Cuts Calories with New Ovens

Child nutrition field coordinator Sandy Hearn laughed with students who were serving their lunch plates in December when she was the child nutrition manager at Vicksburg High School.

Vicksburg Warren School District, Mississippi

Elementary schools in Miss. will now offer healthier school meals as new combination oven steamers will help prepare foods once made with deep fryers,according to local news. The two local elementary schools, Warrenton and South Park, had received funds to change the fryers to combi ovens with a 2106 Nutrition Integrity grant from the Miss. … Read more

Posted on by .

Salud Hero Local Nurse Provides Healthy School Snack Workshops


Corpus Christi, Texas

Registered nurse Derek Dimas learned kids need to eat healthier to help decrease the high rates of obesity in his hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas (50.7 % Latino). By starting a program to help kids see fruits and vegetables as delicious works of art, students in schools across the city are having fun learning how … Read more

Posted on by .

SA! Change Oregon Schools Set Healthy Food Standards



Since 2007, Oregon became a beacon of healthy school food, as a state bill helped remove unhealthy foods like candy and soda in vending machines and give the school standards on serving healthier school meals. Now new standards from the US Department of Agriculture will not be a big surprise to students in Oregon. The … Read more

Posted on by .

SA! Resource The Economic Burden of Physical Inactivity: A Global Analysis of Major Non-Communicable Disease

health soccer

In July 2016, The Lancet published its second Series on physical activity, which presents an update of the field since 2012 when physical inactivity was identified as important a modifiable risk factor for chronic diseases as obesity and tobacco, as well as the largest systematic review on the associations of of sedentary behavior and physical activity with … Read more

Posted on by .

SA! Resource Physical Activity 2016: Progress and Challenges

be active your way

In 2012, in The Lancet’s first Series on physical activity, physical inactivity was identified as important a modifiable risk factor for chronic diseases as obesity and tobacco. Modifiable risk factor is something that a person can modify now to improve their health, such as quitting smoking, reducing body fat percent, or walking more. In July 2016, The … Read more

Posted on by .

SA! Resource Health is Everyone’s Business


The Colorado Health Foundation and the Colorado HeaIth Institute have issued new Data Spotlight, Where Health Happens. The report, to be released on Wednesday, July 27, at the Colorado Health Symposium, builds on the local Symposium event theme, “Health is Everyone’s Business.” The report highlights five nontraditional drivers of health, along with disparities and opportunities … Read more

Posted on by .
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.

Hub Admins
  • Profile picture of Rosalie Aguilar
  • Profile picture of SaludCliff
  • Profile picture of Lisa
  • Profile picture of Amanda Merck
  • Profile picture of EricMoreno77
  • Profile picture of Amelie
  • Profile picture of Selena