EdNews Parent has joined with other notable Colorado-based non-profit and governmental organizations to encourage parents, school staff, and community members to join together to make sure the foods offered to children at school are as healthy as they can be.
This informational campaign, dubbed “Share Healthy Foods at School,” doesn’t target school lunches, but rather classroom birthday parties, celebrations, snack time, fundraisers, and school events. At some schools, children are getting highly sweetened or fatty foods on a regular basis. Carol Muller, state coordinator for Colorado Action for Healthy Kids, one of the campaign partners, says, “Most adults would be surprised to see the volume of sweets and treats students receive at school. Things have changed since we were kids, when the birthday treat was a ‘special’ event.”
Small steps lead to big change
The campaign encourages every school community to make small changes in the hopes of making large impacts on the health of children everywhere. This campaign does not dictate what parents should feed their children at home. Rather, it encourages parents, school staff, and students to consider creating a school culture where healthy foods are the norm and to think about foods they choose to share with a wider group of children.
The campaign does not recommend one system for change, but rather encourages parents, school staff and students to find opportunities within their own community to make it easy for kids to make healthy choices every day.
Healthy kids learn better
Here’s the deal: children look to adults to learn how the world works and to model good choices, including decisions about what to eat. Research shows that healthy kids learn better, yet obesity and undernourishment have reached epidemic proportions in the United States and are growing rapidly in Colorado. A quarter of Colorado’s children are overweight or obese, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Unlike Colorado’s adults, who have the lowest obesity rate in the nation, Colorado’s children rank in the middle of the pack with respect to obesity, according to the 2010 Colorado Health Report Card.
EdNews Parent wants to help parents take a stand on this issue. For its part, EdNews Parent will offer regular tips to parents in its weekly newsletter and continue to profile schools that have – or are in the midst of – focusing on the wellness and health of students, staff and community.
It’s not easy to change. Campaign partners believe that, together, we can make a difference in the lives of Colorado’s children.
Other participating organizations in the We Share Healthy Foods at School campaign are: LiveWell Colorado, Colorado Action for Healthy Kids, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; the Colorado PTA, the Colorado Legacy Foundation and RMC Health.
- Print out a flyer to post in your child’s school or share with your school’s PTA.
- Tell EdNews Parent about what your school is doing to promote wellness.
- If you are an organization, join the campaign by contacting EdNews Parent.
- Click on these links to get help creating a healthier school climate:
EdNews Parent is a website/e-mail newsletter providing tip sheets, expert advice, resources and updates on the week’s hottest news related to healthy schools, safe schools and teaching and learning. The site – created in partnership with Education News Colorado and funded by the Colorado Health Foundation – is a free resource for parents interested in education. You can also follow EdNews Parent on Facebookor Twitter. Give us your e-mail address in the box in the upper right corner to begin receiving the weekly newsletter, or click here. Another unique feature on the site is the Colorado School Data Center where you can find and compare data and information on all schools in Colorado.