Its not enough for schools around Colorado to serve nutritious food in breakfast and lunch programs. To reap the benefits, students have to eat it as well. The LiveWell@School Food Initiative strives to ensure all children in Colorado have access to and choose healthy food at school by 2022.
We know these are critical elements to reversing our childhood obesity trends. As the place where our children spend the majority of their time during their formative years, schools can act as our natural ally in ensuring our children have access to healthy food necessary for their growing minds and bodies.
Among the programs under way this school year are:
- Culinary Workshops: Offered for free to qualifying school districts, the LiveWell@School Food Initiative has provided more than 350 school food service staff with the training, empowerment and inspiration to incorporate healthy cooking into their school food programs and potentially reached nearly 600,000 students in the 89 participating districts. By the end of the year, we hope to reach 95 districts, with the goal of eventually reaching all of the districts in the state.
- EatWell@School Cooking Competition: In partnership with Denver Public Schools and Johnson & Wales University, LiveWell Colorado will continue to help raise the importance of healthy eating at school with the fourth annual EatWell@School Cooking Competition. Starting in September, student teams led by volunteer chef mentors from Johnson & Wales University are challenged to prepare a school lunch that aligns with the USDAs school nutrition guidelines and budget of less than a dollar per meal. The winning meal will be served at our annual fundraising luncheon on Dec. 9.
- Go, Slow, Whoa: By the end of October, our Go, Slow, Whoa program will be in 37 schools, including 23 Aurora Public Schools, 13 Cherry Creek Public Schools and South Routt Elementary in Northwest Colorado, thereby reaching nearly 21,000 students. A partnership among LiveWell Colorado, 7News, and the participating school districts, this cafeteria promotional program will continue to educate and motivate elementary school children and their parents to make healthy food choices.
- Food for Thought: After a successful first year, Food for Thought will once again be implemented in Manual High School in Denver andSalida High School, along withMountain View High School and the entire family and consumer sciences department inThompson School District in Loveland. It will also expand into East High School and schools in the Montezuma-Cortez and Walsenburg/La Veta regions. In partnership with An Ounce of Nutrition, this pilot program will continue to raise student awareness of the food system and how their food choices affect personal health as well as the world around them.
To learn more, visit the LiveWell website where you can watch a fun, informative video, access online tool, and meet some of the key players who are transforming their schools kitchens.
Together, we can improve the grade of what our kids eat at school.