Healthy Eating in our...
We work with schools to expand access to healthier options in the lunchroom and classroom, through initiatives such as taste testing, Farm to School programs and snack carts.
- We Can!
We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) is a national movement designed to give parents, caregivers and entire communities a way to help children 8 to 13 years old stay at a healthy weight
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Information and resources on many health topics and chronic diseases.
- Learning Zone Xpress
Source of health, nutrition and life skills education resources, including affordable educational posters, handouts, incentives, DVDs and more.
- Minnesota Department of Education
Improve educational achievement by establishing clear standards, measuring performance, assisting educators and increasing opportunities for lifelong learning.
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation
You can be a champion for the youth in your area in a way that makes sense to you and fits your commitment level.
- Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives.
- Classroom in the Cafeteria for Winona Area Public Schools
Funding from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) supported the “Classroom in the Cafeteria” project at Winona Area Public Schools in the fall of 2018. A Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard was completed for each school in the district to assess and implement evidence-based strategies that make the healthy choice the easy choice.
The project entailed providing visual education through attractive signage in the cafeteria to help students understand the importance of eating a variety of foods. The signs are strategically placed for students to read and look at while they are waiting in line for food or eating their meal in the cafeteria. Approximately 2,600 students are exposed to the educational content daily.
Signage includes images and tips to focus on fruits, jump start your day with breakfast, fuel your body from head to toe, catch a rainbow of colorful foods every day, go lean with protein, and find your balance between food and fun.
“The new signs in the cafeteria brighten up our lunch room and show us how to eat healthy,” said a student.
“I really appreciate the positive nutrition message our cafeteria is spreading. The new signs and posters bring us a sense of community and togetherness!” said a teacher.
- Riverway Learning Community Promotes Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
Students at Riverway Learning Community in Winona helped pave the way for healthier lunch options at the school.
Riverway Learning Community received funding from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership to conduct taste tests and enhance its physical education classes with new equipment this past spring.
Students studied lunch waste at the school and identified which foods were thrown away most often. Proposed new items, including chicken Caesar wraps, were then sampled by students before being incorporated into the menu. The school cafeteria serves an average of 85 students and 10 staff daily.
“It was great to receive funding for our food service program, allowing us to get creative with a few new entrees. The students loved participating in the selection and being able to critique the samples,” said Lindsay Krage, School Nutrition Leader.
Physical education equipment included strength training and balance items, as well as an early childhood activity curriculum.
Riverway Learning Community contributed an additional $678 in matching funds and in-kind labor for the wellness initiatives supported by SHIP.
- A Different Kind of “Test”
Lewiston-Altura School District has been growing its Farm to School program for several years. The District has brought in more local and regional foods to the school cafeteria, which serves on average 615 students and 25 staff daily. In the winter of 2017, Lewiston-Altura School District partnered with SHIP to offer taste tests. Elementary students sampled cherries and avocados, Intermediate students sampled hummus and guacamole, and High School students sampled Asian pears and guacamole. This opportunity for students to try new and healthy foods provides the school with valuable data to help determine if items should be included in the school menu. Educational handouts were provided to students to raise awareness about the nutritious value of the items.
Surveys collected after the taste tests indicated:
73% of elementary school students said they were “Likely” or “Very likely” to eat fruit instead of candy
51% of high school students said they were “Likely” or “Very likely” to eat fruit instead of candy
39% of elementary school students eat three or more servings of vegetables per day
26% of high school students eat three or more servings of vegetables per day
64% of elementary school students eat three or more pieces of fruit per day
52% of high school students eat three or more pieces of fruit per day
Lewiston-Altura School District contributed a 45% match of funds and in-kind labor for the wellness initiatives supported by SHIP.
“The guacamole was a HUGE hit with students and staff. We definitely hope to add this to our menu. Most people have never tried or even knew what an Asian pear was. But once they tried it, they liked it,” Lori La Brec, High School Food Services.
The District would like to provide more of these opportunities in the future, and hopefully encourage students and staff to continue to try new healthy foods they might come across in the grocery store.
- Taste Test Tuesday
St. Charles Schools participated in Taste Test Tuesday in the spring of 2017 for students in both the High School and Elementary. Students had the opportunity to sample various items funded by SHIP to be included in breakfast, lunch, snack cart and concessions. A few of the items sampled included mango, jerky sticks, jicama, breakfast blueberry bake, avocado. Students completed a survey to indicate if they liked or disliked the sample. There was a high amount of energy and enthusiasm in the cafeteria on Taste Test Tuesdays! This was a great way for students to trial and be introduced to a variety of new foods.
- Lewiston Farm-to-School Program
The Lewiston-Alutrua school district implemented a Farm-to-School program with thanks to grants from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Statewide Health Improvement Program. The program has allowed for kindergartners to visit the Rockie Hill Bison farm in Winona, where they were able to learn more about Bison from Executive Director of the Minnesota Buffalo Association and farm owner, Gail Griffin, and visit their natural habitat. It has also allowed for High Schoolers to be given the opportunity to try Rockie Hill bison burgers daily and bison jerky a la carte.
Learn more about their field trip from the Winona Daily News.