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This week’s healthy schools highlights

Obesity more likely in ‘night-owl’ kids

Going to bed early and waking up early may help teens stay thinner and more physically active than their night-owl peers, and this was the case even when both groups got the same amount of sleep, researchers say. Learn more at HealthDay.

What’s in your child’s school lunch?

If I weren’t a journalist covering parenting issues (and this week, writing Motherlode), I would have missed it.

It’s National School Lunch Week.

My completely unscientific survey suggests that this is news to most of us, even if we have children eating school lunch daily (one friend, who administers her school’s lunch program, still had no idea). If you did know, it’s probably emblazoned across the top of your child’s lunch menu for the month. Maybe you’re joining your child for Take Your Parents to Lunch Day this Wednesday. Read more in this New York Times blog.

Spud fans rally to block school lunch rules


The potato will not be kicked out of the nation’s school cafeterias without a fight.

Fearful that the Obama administration’s planned “healthy lunch” guidelines will be worse than blight for growers, the spud industry is rallying school leaders and members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to its crusade to halt implementation of the rules before they take effect as scheduled next year. Read more in the Washington Times.

Colorado Voices: A “peachy” school lunch

“Ms. S.,” the sweet sixth-grader who had unaccountably earned lunch detention in my classroom, asked, “can you eat the skin?”

“What?” I was deep in the midst of readying for my four afternoon classes.

She held up a beautiful, whole peach. “Is it OK to eat the skin?”

“Yes, of course â . Haven’t you ever had a fresh peach before?”

“No.” Then she bit into it.

Read more in the Denver Post.

Students who go to recess before lunch behave and eat better

Walk into an elementary school and it can sometimes look like an episode of Man Vs. Food. Kids are scarfing down their food and chugging milk as fast as they possibly can in order to be one of the first outside for recess.

Being first gets a student a coveted piece playground equipment, control of the four-square ball and the privilege of maximum playing time. Read more in the Southeast Aurora News.

Companies marketing food to kids need stronger guidelines, health advocates say

Marketing unhealthful foods and beverages to children is off the charts, say some food and health advocacy groups, and they called on the Obama administration Thursday to support voluntary guidelines on how companies advertise to kids and how they formulate their products. Read more in the Los Angeles Times.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.