School Bites Spotlight on: Matoaka Elementary (a Healthy School Success Story!)
|May 21, 2012||Posted by Stacy under Improving school food|
Every once in a while, I hear about a school making healthy changes that leaves me feeling totally inspired. It happened last week when I caught wind of the Matoaka Elementary School in Williamsburg, Va. This year, the school PTA’s new Healthy Lifestyles Committee created a program so successful that its school district has asked every other elementary school in the area to follow its lead.
Amongst the Healthy Lifestyle Committee’s fresh ideas:
The Golden Apple Award: a special honor awarded to teachers, staff members and parents who have supported the school’s healthy lifestyle goals—for example, by providing healthy snacks, participating in fitness and wellness programs and events, or being a healthy role model.
The Healthy Recipe Idea Book: a compendium of quick, simple and family friendly recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as healthy school and after-school snacks. Kids and families who submitted a recipe for inclusion were entered into a contest to win a “big bucket of fun sports equipment.”
Local Produce Day: For this special event, fresh local spaghetti squash was garnished with marinara sauce and served up as the hot veggie of the day—which, apparently, the students gobbled up.
Healthy Lifestyles Week: a week-long celebration that included classroom demonstrations, local produce tasting and a visit from The OrganWise Guys—who gave special prizes to kids “caught being healthy.”
Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day: In lieu of cupcakes and other sweets, parents were encouraged to bring in red, pink and white foods such as apples, cheese sticks, popcorn, cranberries, strawberries, cherry tomatoes with Ranch dressing, and heart-shaped fruit kabobs. And rather than attach candy to Valentine’s cards, students were given alternative ideas like glowsticks, lip balm, popcorn, photo cards, a packet of flower seeds, and art supplies.
Cafeteria tours: A survey of parents found that many had no clue what foods were being offered at mealtime. So at Back-to-School Night, they were given 5– to 10-minute cafeteria tours to learn all about the cafeteria line and typical food choices.
Check out the information about the Healthy Lifestyle Committee on Matoaka’s website and prepare to be blown away!
p.s. I’ve gotten in touch with the creative geniuses from Matoaka who helped pull all of this off. More about how they made it happen in an upcoming post!
MORE INSPIRING STUFF THAT YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS:
- Insider secrets to healthy school food: a Q&A with Matoaka Elementary (a real-life success story!)
- Healthy school parties: 18 fun cupcake alternatives (plus, ways to celebrate without food!)
- The kids are back at school, and healthy changes are in the air!