The new nutrition standards established by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act at the US Department of Agriculture represent an important step in America’s fight against childhood obesity and will help promote healthy eating habits for youth in our nation’s schools. These standards promote a balanced diet of additional fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, and whole grains, while eating less sugar, saturated fat, and sodium.
Allyson Felix, member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and three-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist in track and field, tells us how good nutrition has improved her health and gives her the energy she needs to perform like a champion:
“In the morning before I lace up my running shoes, grab my workout bag and head out the door to the track, I always have my go-to breakfast of oatmeal, fresh fruit and a tall glass of water. It’s an absolute must to fuel my body for the work day I have in front of me. I may have a unique job as a professional track and field athlete; however my day is not unlike most. I’m up early rushing between workouts, meetings, events, and additional training sessions and functions in the afternoon and evening. Trying to keep pace with the days demands can be challenging, but giving my body the proper nutrition it needs allows me to maintain my energy and perform at a high level. Read more »
French students from Ecole Du Breuil, School of Horticulture and Landscaping Techniques, Paris, France. The students visited the United States Department of Agriculture People’s Garden in Washington, D.C., on September 4, 2012. USDA photo by Bob Nichols.
After a morning visit to the White House Kitchen garden, 27 students from Ecole Du Breuil, the leading school of Horticulture and Landscaping Techniques of the City of Paris, France, spent the afternoon visiting the USDA People’s Garden. All of these students are interested in landscape design and are receiving special training so they can pursue this important work as a career. These young people, like many others from around the world, are taking an interest in agriculture after being involved in a People’s Garden project in their community. Read more »
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 »
The key to reaching out to underserved, eligible Latino communities in need of nutrition assistance is to find trusted leaders from within the community itself. The Minnesota-based organization Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) has effectively adopted an outreach model that achieves grassroots impact through a holistic promotores (community health workers) model. CLUES is a La Mesa Completa partner whose mission is to provide a network of support for Hispanic individuals facing crisis. To help Latinos in need, they have developed a unique family-centric coordinated care delivery model based on the idea that the family and the home are valuable support assets.
CLUES elects trusted community leaders to be promotores and trains them on how to deliver information about nutrition education and healthy eating, obesity and diabetes prevention, and the importance of physical activity through one-on-one home visits. These Latino promotores have become the bridge between the people and federal, state and local resources and institutions they refer them to, which is why establishing a relationship of trust is crucial. 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 »
Goya, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, is part of the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! movement to empower parents to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. It is partnering with USDA’s new icon, MyPlate/MiPlato, that reminds consumers to build healthy plates at meal times. As a national strategic partner, Goya is promoting the messages that support MyPlate and MiPlato to educate and encourage families to consume a well-balanced diet. By teaming up with Let’s Move! and USDA, Goya has committed to provide people with several tools to improve their health.
In support of the First Lady’s initiative, Goya created an army of resources to help fight childhood obesity. Goya has produced a brochure in both English and Spanish with six healthy recipes, ten tips on how to create a well-balanced plate, and a coupon for low sodium beans is being distributed to several Let’s Move Faith and Communities partners around the country. Dr. Luz Myriam Neira, Director of Nutrition at the San Antonio Food Bank, said “the booklets were so well received by SNAP/Ed participants” that she will be using an electronic version of the booklet, sans coupon, to meet the demand for helpful recipes and tips. They are also working with a local grocery chain using these materials in their nutrition education efforts. Read more »