Fun-Shaped Mini Hass Avocado and Cheese Sandwiches make eating nutritious avocados fun.
PeanutAllergyFacts.org contains videos and other materials that highlight the importance of food allergy management and offering resources to schools.
Kids love to snack. But snacking—if done right—doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There are plenty of tasty and healthy options available that will help satisfy the snack-attack of even the pickiest eaters.
Incorporating fresh fruit, like watermelon, into after-school snacks is a great choice for kids who have a bit of a sweet tooth. And, as an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6 and C, a two-cup serving of watermelon packs a good nutritional punch that any parent can appreciate. Watermelon Sandwich Wraps can be a perfect after-school snack. For more creative ideas on how to serve this healthy treat, take a look at the top ten ways to enjoy watermelon.
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Volunteers from the Children’s Reading Foundation of Doña Ana County provide free books and read stories during lunch to help kids return to class ready to learn.
Children who live in the Franklin Vista Apartments in Anthony, N.M., didn’t have to walk far to receive a healthy breakfast and lunch this summer, thanks to Gadsden ISD Food Service Director Demetrious Giovas. He made sure children there were able to gather under the covered porch of the apartment community center for a nutritious meal. The school district set up tables each day to ensure the kids had access to healthy food while school was out of session.
For the first time, Gadsden ISD provided daily breakfasts and lunches to children at apartments through the Seamless Summer Option of the National School Lunch Program. Food was prepared at the local elementary school, where it was distributed to 14 sites including Franklin Vista Apartments, as well as churches, other community-based facilities and schools. Throughout the summer, sites sponsored by the school district provided an average of 2,000 lunches and 1,900 breakfasts each weekday. Read more »
Administrator Rowe views the healthy offerings provided at a local farmers market.
Earlier this month, USDA celebrated National Farmers Market Week to highlight the healthy offerings they provide American families. The department invests in farmers markets in a myriad of ways – from helping farmers develop their products for markets, to enriching children’s bodies and minds through the “farm to school” program. In fact, there are more than 8,000 farmers markets listed in USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory, and more than 5,000 farm stands and farmers markets across the nation are accepting SNAP benefits.
During the month, I had a chance to speak with Lt. Col. Eric Smith, commander of Fort Meade’s (Md.) Headquarters Command Battalion. We discussed USDA’s partnership with the Department of Defense and supporting the Healthy Base Initiative through FNS programs. DoD’s Healthy Base Initiative works to improve the health and wellness of service members and their families by reducing obesity and decreasing tobacco use. Currently, 14 military installations participate in a pilot to create an environment that promotes healthy lifestyles. Fort Meade is one of them. Read more »
The Food Safety and Commodity Specifications Division (FSCSD) within USDA’s Agricultural Marketing sets standards and provides testing and oversight for meat, poultry, egg products, and seafood purchased for the National School Lunch Program.
Top grocery stores and restaurants in the United States guarantee their customers consistently get high quality products through rigorous standards and robust testing and oversight programs. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is doing essentially the same thing – working to ensure that recipients of federal nutrition assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program get meat, poultry, egg products, and seafood that match the quality and specifications used by the best commercial firms.
AMS purchases products through a competitive process among approved vendors. Some of these purchases support American agriculture by providing an outlet for surplus products. The products are delivered to schools, food banks, and households in communities across the country and are a vital component of our nation’s food safety net. Read more »
A WIC peer counselor provides encouragement to new mothers at a community breastfeeding support group in West Virginia.
To highlight the importance of a healthy start in life, more than 170 countries celebrated World Breastfeeding Week earlier this month. Themed “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life,” the recognition encourages the practice to improve the health of babies around the globe. The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) takes it a step further, recognizing the entire month of August as “National Breastfeeding Month.”
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service shares this commitment. In fact, its Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (better known as WIC) promotes breastfeeding as the optimal infant feeding choice. We support breastfeeding among WIC moms by providing counseling and educational materials, offering healthy food packages, and giving out breastfeeding aids, like breast pumps. Read more »
Allison Slade of Namaste Charter School in Chicago is an Alliance National School Ambassador. Photo credit: Dominic Arizona
As part of our Cafeteria Stories series, Allison Slade, Founder and Executive Director of the Namaste Charter School in Chicago, shares thoughts on why good nutrition is an integral component of a child’s education. She credits the academic achievements of Namaste’s students not only to the academic structure itself, but also to the fresh, healthy meals that are a pillar of the school’s structure. Thank you, Allison, for sharing your story.
Guest Blog By: Allison Slade, Founder and Executive Director of Namaste Charter School
I’ve worn many hats in many schools—I have been a Teach for America Corps member, a Kindergarten teacher, a mentor, a curriculum designer, a literacy specialist, and now at Namaste Charter School, a Founder and Executive Director. Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of reasons why schools should or should not make their students’ health a priority on campus.
When I was a teacher, I watched my students come to school with orange fingers from their cheesy snack food breakfast. By 10:00 a.m., my students were crashing; they couldn’t focus and they certainly couldn’t reach their highest potential, which is every teacher’s mission. Read more »