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Fort Mills Seven Elementary Schools Earn National Honor For Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Fort Mill elementary schools efforts to serve children better food while teaching them about healthy lifestyles and exercise have been so effective that all seven campuses have earned national recognition.

Each received a HealthierUS Schools bronze award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in December, joining nearly 4,800 schools across the nation that are moving away from serving salty, highly-processed fast food fare for breakfast and lunch.

No other school in York, Chester or Lancaster counties has received the award, which is given to schools that voluntarily exceed federal nutrition requirements, encourage exercise and foster healthy environments.

Its a small step toward the bigger picture, said Roland Cabading, Fort Mill schools food service director. Were moving in the right direction.

As America faces an epidemic of childhood obesity and a rise in chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes, federal school officials are urging educators to help turn the tide. In addition to stricter rules for the type of food schools serve, the HealthierUS Schools Challenge was started in 2004 to reward schools that go above and beyond.

First lady Michelle Obama incorporated the Challenge into Lets Move!, her campaign to get kids moving and healthy.

The Fort Mill schools Fort Mill, Gold Hill, Orchard Park, Pleasant Knoll, Riverview, Springfield and Sugar Creek elementaries have launched a variety of healthy initiatives.

Each has a food garden, which teachers incorporate into lessons about science and nutrition. A dietician teaches healthy lifestyle choices. School clubs in archery, running and dancing offer exercise.

A Boosterthon Fun Run raises money for schools by asking parents to pledge dollars for each lap their children run.

As opposed to selling cookies, candy and wrapping paper … they come in and do fitness lessons, Pleasant Knoll Principal Travis Howard said. Everything is seen through the lens of character and fitness.

It was the districts culinary makeover, which Cabading enacted, that cemented the awards.

All the credit in the world has to go to Roland Cabading, Sugar Creek Principal Scott Frattaroli said.

For the last two years, Cabading has been working to improve school meals, which had long been chock full of sugar, preservatives and empty calories. The changes are due in part to new federal rules requiring schools to double the fruits and vegetables served, increase whole grains, serve only low fat or fat-free milk and limit trans fats.

Cabading has been ahead of neighboring districts in Rock Hill, York, Clover and Chester and Lancaster counties.

Hes traded pizza and corn dogs for baked chicken and meatloaf made from scratch. Fresh fruit replaced canned peaches drowned in syrup. Starchy, white grain pastas became whole grain.

While the national awards are encouraging, Cabading said his push continues.

Since menus changed, the portion of students buying lunch dropped from about 60 percent across the district to 43 percent.

Trays of uneaten collard greens and whole wheat pasta spill out of cafeteria trash cans.

Students have voiced displeasure.

What you are serving us is adult food, read a letter signed by a class of third-graders. We dont like it. Stuffed shells are stuffed with ricotta cheese. Why?

I know its healthy, but thats kind of gross.

Cabading had to increase offerings of pizza and chicken nuggets in the final months of school last year just to break even.

But theres hope.

Lunchroom workers are seeing improvement.

It takes a lot of, Would you like to try it? said Pleasant Knoll food nutritionist Carol Johnson.

Among children who still buy lunch, more are munching on vegetables and fruits than before. Healthier entrees, such as wraps, are becoming more popular.

Im seeing the cucumber slices eaten off the plates, Frattaroli said. Im seeing a dramatic improvement. It is encouraging.

Kym Hall, whose daughter is in second grade at Pleasant Knoll, has noticed the trend.

My daughters a very picky eater, Hall said. And she eats the lunches here.

Still, were making more misses than hits, said Cabading, who expects it to take years before kids are accustomed to healthier school meals.

Food failures nixed from the menu include: baked-from-scratch meatloaf, corn salad and sweet potato salad with red peppers and onions.

After switching to whole wheat pasta for mac and cheese, schools had to renege.

Confetti soup, named for its colorful array of veggies, fell flat.

I got a lot of comments on that, Cabading said. None that I want to share.

The school board has so far been supportive and willing to bolster the food service departments $5 million budget with reserves if needed.

We feel its worthwhile because weve got to educate the next generation, Superintendent Chuck Epps said. These are growing pains.

Emboldened by the HealthierUS Schools Challenge which earned each school $500 Cabading and Epps said they will focus on middle and high schools and winning silver awards for the elementaries.

Those require that at least 60 percent of students each school lunch.

 

Shawn Cetrone 803-329-4072

Original Story Here

Resources:

Be Well On Your Way: Journey to a More Authentic You (Paperback) tagged “healthy lifestyle” 88 times

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Life On Your Terms: 7 Steps To a More Empowered You (Paperback) tagged “healthy lifestyle” 88 times

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 03:27:19 GMT Life On Your Terms: 7 Steps To a More Empowered You Life On Your Terms: 7 Steps To a More Empowered You (Paperback)By Maiysha T Clairborne MD Click for more info Customer Rating: 5.0 Customer tags: self-help(91), empowerment(89), health(89), healthy living(88), healthy lifestyle(88), healthy life(87), personal development(86), mind body spirit(86), personal growth(84), relationships(81), self-improvement(41), self esteem(40) http://www.amazon.com/Life-On-Your-Terms-Empowered/dp/1453615040/ref=tag_rso_rs_edpp_url?ie=UTF8&creative=381421&tag=thedays-20

Workplace Engagement Linked With Healthier Lifestyle, Report Shows

How engaged would you say you are in your job? If your answer is very, chances are you are also highly engaged in your health, a new study suggests. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/21/workplace-engagement-healthier-lifestyle-_n_2490559.html

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Comments

    • Bob
    • January 28, 2013
    Reply

    What Are Some Healthy Lifestyle Changes To Make? So I’ve started drinking more water. I drink Green, White, and Chai tea. I also bought the stainless steel water bottle, and I bike for about 20-30 minutes a day. I consider these healthy lifestyle changes. I was wondering if you could provide more suggestions along these lines.

    View Comment
      • HealthNut
      • January 28, 2013
      Reply

      There are 5 elements in a healthy lifestyle.

      1. food
      2. exercise
      3. sleep
      4. happiness
      5. extra healthy things

      1. Food, we don’t really know that much about nutrition, we do know a blanced diet, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is good for you. Meat is pretty good, if it is lean and not eaten too often….ideally I might eat meat once or twice a week. A good healthy diet can include some indulgences.
      2. Exercise, you should do some. Though I don’t recommend routine exercise, cycle 2 or 3 times a week, join a social sports club, eg, tennis, go hiking on weekends, swimming is one of the best exercises for the whole body. If you vary your exercise, then you will enjoy it more and do more.
      3. Sleep. A lot of evidence says if you don’t get enough sleep you will have problems, eat more, metabolise your food differently and die young.
      4. Be happy, enjoy your life. Drink dance, eat chocolate, but not all day, everyday.
      5. Then there are all the little extras. eg, green tea (there is no such things as Chai tea….chai means tea, it is an indian word derived from the chinese word Cha, meaning tea), red wine, brocollie and beetroot, lots of things than can boost your body, ginger, garlice and hundreds of other things that you can add to your diet to make things a little better.

      Don’t obsess, don’t live by a book or a routine, just be healthy.

      View Comment
  1. Reply

    What Would You Say A Healthy Lifestyle Is? Hey 🙂 I’ve got some coursework that needs doing and I need to do some primary reasearch and I was just wondering if you would leave me some answers below on what you think a healthy lifestyle is personally. And what you think you have to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I need loads of answers so I hope you dont mind helping me 🙂 Thankyouu

    View Comment
      • HealthNut
      • January 28, 2013
      Reply

      Healthy lifestyle…involves eating right, exercing, and relationships you have with others. Also if you live in a clean environment…messy=germs=sickness…and to maintain a healthy lifestyle you need to frequenlty eat right, do some sort of physical activity, be nice to others (stress is bad for health), and keep a clean home

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