kids on playscapeThe latest in our regular roundups of healthy eating and physical activity news from HOST members and others.

Success Stories

  • Action for Healthy Kids teamed with CSX Transportation, City Year, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to hold an Every Kid Healthy Day of Service at Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School in Philadelphia. Among other things, volunteers installed new basketball hoops and repainted the court, brightened the kindergarten playground with a mural, painted the gymnasium and cafeteria in the school’s colors, built storage racks for stability balls in the gym, and painted a mural in the cafeteria.
  • Safe Routes to School shows how "a team of visionary parents" helped Palo Alto, California, solve safety problems along the school commute and spread pedestrian and bike safety education to more than 4,500 elementary and 6th grade students.
  • Playworks explains "How One Tennessee School Turned Recess Around" and how one P.E. teacher used resources and support from Playworks to create a recess plan for a middle school that had never had recess before.

Research

  • A new report from the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a collaboration between The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shows which approaches have been most effective as schools transition to the healthier food and drink standards issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2011. Six in 10 of the surveyed food service directors said they faced few or no ongoing obstacles to meeting updated breakfast requirements; four in 10 said the same about the lunch guidelines. The most commonly cited challenges were tighter limits on weekly average sodium content and the requirement that grain servings be made from at least 50 percent whole grains.
  • A new study from SaludAmerica! shows that "Being Latino and drinking sugary beverages at least once in the past week were associated with 2.3 times the odds of severe obesity in kindergarten, which can lead to obesity-related diseases." To address this, they recommend, among other things, that "Early childcare centers should adopt best practices from the revised Child and Adult Care Food Program guidelines (promoting water and avoiding serving sugary drinks)."

Tips and Resources

Policy

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced final changes to increase access to healthy food choices for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP authorized retail establishments must now offer a larger inventory and variety of healthy food options.