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This week's healthy schools highlights

Udall tries to block starch limits in school lunches

WASHINGTON — New proposed school lunch standards have some members of the Colorado congressional delegation wrangling. Over potatoes. Both small and large, purple and brown and gray — but not sweet ones, it turns out. Read more in the Denver Post.

Healthy food is good for grades

At Alsup Elementary in Commerce City, the school day begins with feeding the stomach before the mind.

“A lot of our students were coming to school hungry,” Cindy Venney, the manager of nutrition services for Adams 14 School District, told 7News. “They couldn’t sit still and were going to the nurse’s office with stomach aches and headaches.” Check out the 7NEWS report.

Exercise spurs teenage boys to stop smoking

Fitness routines may keep teenagers away from smoking. For teenagers struggling to quit smoking, a new study has some advice. To break the habit, try breaking a sweat. Read more on this New York Times blog.

Recess is making a comeback in schools

As more Chicago public schools cash in on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s longer-day financial incentives by adding 90 minutes to their school day, the previous votes by a dozen schools to add about a half hour to the day by bringing back recess are going unnoticed. Read more in the New York Times.

Fight for healthier kids with Fuel Up to Play 60

About 12.5 million. That’s the number of American children and adolescents who are obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and there is no better time to join the movement to end childhood obesity by getting involved with Fuel Up to Play 60, which encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and to achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Parents, community leaders, health professionals and businesses can learn more about what they can do to help conquer childhood obesity at Registered dietitians can also join the ADA Foundation Kids Eat Right Initiative and sign up to take action with Fuel Up to Play 60 in schools across the country.

Hispanic Health Education Kit now available

The Hispanic population is the largest ethnic/racial minority group in the United States, and is impacted by obesity and some health conditions more than non-Hispanic whites. On average, U.S.-born Hispanics consume only 1.5 to 1.6 servings of dairy a day, potentially missing the important nutrients that dairy foods provide. That’s why the National Dairy Council has developed a Hispanic Health Education Kit, which offers research, handouts and education resources on health considerations important for Hispanics and the role of dairy foods in a healthful diet. Find it at at

10 ways to pick, pack healthy school lunches

The federally regulated National School Lunch Program requires school lunch to provide the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Read more.

Jamie Oliver lectures the UN on obesity crisis

Moving beyond dressing up as a giant tomato and filling school buses with sand, Jamie Oliver has kicked his campaign to save the world up a notch with a letter asking United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to take up the topic of childhood obesity with the global body at a high-level meeting this week. And, as any good celebrity advocacy letter to an international organization would, Oliver’s is filled with statistical citations, emotional appeal and self-referentiality. Read more at

Colorado Action for Healthy Kids needs parent advocates

Colorado Action for Healthy Kids is looking for parents who want to make a difference in their schools by making them healthier places for kids and staff.

Learn more about becoming a parent wellness advocate in a 30-minute webinar to be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, to share information about this project and answer questions about the opportunity. The deadline for Parent Advocate applications is now Oct. 15. To register for the webinar go to:

Colorado Action for Healthy Kids is looking for 20 parents/caregivers in 20 diverse elementary schools across the state to promote healthy eating and physical activity in their school community. Selected advocates must come from school buildings with at least 40 percent free/reduced meal participation. Advocates will receive leadership training, coaching, stipends and funding to implement school wellness projects.

Students compete in healthy back-to-football challenge

With the 2011-2012 school year in full swing, Fuel Up to Play 60 students have been hard at work creating submissions for the Back-to-School, Back-to-Football Challenge. Students were asked to create a commercial illustrating how they are kicking off the year with Fuel Up to Play 60 and generating Fuel Up to Play 60 spirit among their peers. The winner, set to be announced in October, will receive tickets to Super Bowl XLV.

Head over to Fuel Up to Play 60’s SchoolTube page to check out submissions for the Challenge, which wraps up Oct. 10.

Are you a Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisor? If so, check out the Healthy Tailgate Party Play in your Playbook on You’ll find great ideas for hosting Tailgate Parties to showcase how fun and easy healthy eating and physical activity can be.

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.

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