Two schools honored for promoting wellness are exceeding the national requirements for providing healthy food options to children. The national Healthy Schools Program sponsored by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation has awarded them prizes acknowledging their achievement.
In Leon County, Florida, Chaires and DeSoto Trail elementary schools have been honored by the program. The bronze award was given to Chaires, and the silver honors were awarded to DeSoto Trail.
During the Healthy Schools Program’s ninth annual forum in Washington DC, the awards were announced. 250 schools from across the country were honored by former President Bill Clinton. His foundation provides funding for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
DeSoto Trail was one of 34 schools in the country to receive a silver award. Six schools received gold awards. This year 23 schools in Florida were recognized, down from 31 in 2013.
“The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s work with schools and food companies proves that with planning and support, manufacturers can make and sell healthier foods, schools will offer it, and kids will eat it,” said Clinton in a news release.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandated that by 2012, schools nationwide provide healthier options for lunch. Schools were also ordered to increase servings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limit calories, sodium and unhealthy fats.
The schools honored by the program must provide students with 60 minutes of physical education per week, offer school breakfast, implement district wellness programs and meet national requirements for school foods and beverages.
Bronze schools have “adopted healthy beverage standards, are improving their school breakfast and lunch programs, and are providing regular opportunities for physical activity during and after the school day. Bronze schools have an active wellness committee that is leading efforts to make changes that benefit students and school staff,” according to the Healthy School Program.