As a new school year begins, I’m proud to say that the Obama Administration is taking historic steps to make the school day healthier for kids in schools across the country. I’m excited about the changes showing up in cafeterias this school year – more fruits, vegetables and whole grains; low-fat and fat-free milk choices; and fewer salty and fatty foods.
In addition to those changes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working with parents, teachers and school cafeteria managers to ensure our kids get the right amount of food. Menus are planned for grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 and the meals are “right-sized” so that kids get the appropriate amount of calories and the correct portions of different foods. To further improve menu changes, we’re increasing the focus on reducing the amounts of sodium, saturated fat and trans fats available in those meals. Read more »
Fruit and Veggie Ambassadors sampling fresh fruit and vegetables at a Pawtucket Summer Food Service Program.
Do you know what a Malanga is? What about a Chocolate Pepper? The “Fruit and Vegetable Ambassador ” (F&V Ambassador) students of Slater Jr. High School in Pawtucket, Rhode Island learned about these unusual vegetables and more during their Summer Food Service Program fruit and vegetable taste testing. For the less adventurous vegetable eater, a Malanga is a root vegetable that has a nutlike flavor and when cut open looks similar to a sweet potato. A Chocolate Pepper is a purple Bell Pepper.
The students at this summer food program are nicknamed the “F&V Ambassadors” of their school. Along with this prestigious title, students get cool t-shirts and, most importantly, the responsibility of encouraging fellow students throughout the school year to make healthier decisions at lunchtime. Read more »
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
The winners of the Communities on the Move Video Challenge have been chosen! Since First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Video Challenge in February, Let’s Move Faith and Communities has been inspired by every congregation and community that submitted a video highlighting how they are promoting healthy lifestyles for kids. From putting on nutrition-themed puppet shows in Connecticut to advocating for safer play spaces in Colorado and preaching healthy living from the pulpit in Florida, the ideas in these videos demonstrate the commitment that communities across the country have to reversing the trend of childhood obesity within a generation.
The Video Challenge encouraged faith-based and neighborhood organizations to create one-to-three minute videos highlighting the work they are doing to make their communities or congregations places of wellness. The challenge recognized efforts that promote healthy lifestyles for kids in three areas: encouraging nutritious eating through USDA’s MyPlate icon, increasing physical activity, and ensuring access to healthy, affordable foods. The winners and honorable mentions will be invited to Washington, D.C. for a Let’s Move! event. Read more »
Shown in the first Czech People’s Garden, planted on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Prague, is Jana Mikulasova, an agricultural specialist with the Foreign Agricultural Service. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Prague)
The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office in Prague, Czech Republic, joined the People’s Garden initiative in the summer of 2009, when employees started planning their project, researching potential garden sites, and identifying input suppliers and partners. Their effort bore fruit in summer 2010 with the first Czech People’s Garden planted at the U.S. Embassy compound in Prague. Read more »
Working in the dirt is no big deal for 4-H member Josh Tice. However, it’s not every day he gets invited to help First Lady Michelle Obama plant a cherry blossom tree in honor of the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift to the United States.
Josh, and his mom and dad, Deana and Josiah, were on hand last Tuesday for the event in Washington, DC. Josh was one of six young people selected to participate alongside the First Lady. During the event, Josh was able to meet Mrs. Obama and even give her a hug. Naturally though, his 4-H side shined through as he said his favorite part of the event was scooping up dirt for the actual planting. Read more »
Forest Service and American Forest Foundation officials help students plant a garden at Barnard Elementary School in Washington, DC.
Mark Haskell has perfected the school garden recipe: a green thumb, a passion for home-grown food, culinary expertise and partnerships with GreenSchools! and the U.S. Forest Service to whip up the excitement of urban school children connecting their garden to the food they eat. Read more »