Recently, 15 Illinois schools were named among America’s healthiest schools. These schools were selected among the 461 nationwide recently recognized as “America’s Healthiest Schools” last week by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a children’s health advocacy organization.
Schools were awarded for serving nutritional meals and getting students to move at least 60 minutes per week. Based on the standards achieved, each school received Bronze, Silver or Gold medals.
Only 13 institutions in the United States received the highest distinction; one of them is Northeast Elementary Magnet School in Danville, Illinois. The school has a “no outside vendor food” policy and uses “My Plate” as a guide to serve well-balanced meals.
In addition, Northeast’s annual fundraisers are centered around physical activities and children receive non-food rewards －healthier children is a piece of Illinois healthcare news that everyone can get behind.
With a record of 67 schools on the list of America’s Healthiest School, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has a similar approach. Parents of children going to LAUSD replaced cupcakes at school events with books and pencils.
These schools’ efforts extend far beyond food and exercise.
Several studies show that poor nutrition and sedentarism lead to low grades, higher rates of absenteeism and obesity. Kids who suffer hunger in the first five years of life are more likely to lag behind for years to come. In contrast, children who eat a good breakfast do better in school, especially in math.
The Alliance created the Healthy Schools Program in 2006. Each recognized school also participates in the organization’s landmark Healthy Schools Program — one of the nation’s largest school-based childhood obesity prevention initiatives.
Thanks to a recent bill, Illinois students are also able to eat fresh fruits and vegetables grown right in their schools’ gardens. The fact that Illinois schools were recognized as some of the healthiest in the country helps offset the recent news regarding retired teachers.
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