smartfoodinitiative

Smart Food Initiative: How YOU Can Help

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2010 at 2:54 am

Thank you for your interest  and support of the Smart Food Initiative.  We are growing in numbers and scope, and look forward to promoting and encouraging healthy eating in our schools and community.  Our group needs are growing and changing as well.  How can you help?

•Spread the word!  Let your friends, family, and neighbors know about SFI.  You can “Suggest to Friends” on Facebook or share our blog.

•Be aware of the Bend-LaPine Public School District Wellness Policy.  It can be found under the “Links” page on Facebook or http://www.bend.k12.or.us

•Share your concerns about healthy eating at your school.  Let your teachers and principals know you prefer the children to be served healthy snacks (don’t be afraid to be specific), and that you think schools should limit the amount of sugar and processed foods served to children.

•Make suggestions to your childrens’ teachers and principals of alternatives to sugar-laden holiday and birthday celebrations.  Also suggest not using food as rewards.

•Volunteer whenever possible at class and school parties.  Be a part of the team that organizes what will be served and what activities are planned.  If you are unable to help out at these events, that’s okay!  Email the class party organizer and let them know that you have ideas for healthy and fun alternatives.  Contact your class teacher to get contact info.

•Promote healthy eating at extra-curricular activities and sporting events.  Suggest to coaches that they ask the parents to be mindful of keeping the snacks healthy.

•Write letters and emails to your school district administrators sharing your concern for the health of your children, and your expectations for the district’s role in adhering to its own Wellness Policy.  You can find links to district contacts and sample letters on our Facebook page.

•Be a participant in Smart Food discussions!  Give feedback.  Come to Smart Food meetings or share your ideas via Facebook or email.

•Share your talents with us!  We are currently looking for help and expertise in the following areas:  web design, accounting, PR/marketing, any non-profit experience.  We are working on establishing Smart Food Initiative as a 501c3 non-profit, and could use your help!

Can you think of other ways to help Smart Food Initiative get our schools on track to providing the most nutritious and healthy foods possible for our kids?  Please let us know!  We look forward to sharing this journey with you.

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Clearing Up Some Misconceptions

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2010 at 3:38 am

True, a group of parents gathered one morning in January of 2010 fed up that school children eat unhealthy foods in the classrooms in the Bend-LaPine School District.  Most would argue that the items they consume could not be classified as food.

Our concerns:   the substitute giving out Skittles (one sub is so popular, the kids call her “Skittle Lady”), the little candy on the top of the perfect spelling test, the bus driving giving out peanut M&M’s, the classroom celebrations, and the cupcake at 10am.  Yes, that happens regularly in morning kindergarten and yes, that sometimes is a 5 and 6 year olds ONLY snack.

Do we think that kids should never eat sweets or treats?  Absolutely not.  Do we think the school should control what you feed your children?  Again, absolutely not!  What we do expect is to send our kids off to school and know that they are supported in their health. The schools teach nutrition and healthy lifestyles and then serve up junk, and parents have no idea.  Unless you constantly ask what your child ate at school, you might not know it was another cupcake day, a popsicle from the PTA or gum from the bus driver.

A treat in moderation is fine, but the occasional treat is no longer occasional.  It’s an everyday occurence and in many cases, several times a day.  These processed, packaged treats are filled with dangerous preservatives and additives and come with serious health consequences.

Many school districts around the country are fully on board and have clear guidelines for parents and teachers to follow.  One school district in Kentucky educates their community by sending out Healthy Classroom Celebrations.  In their document they clearly state the beneficial reasons why a healthier classroom is best.

When one considers the increasing incidence of childhood obesity, the establishment of Local School Wellness Policies, and the understanding that children who are well-nourished are better learners and are better behaved, it stands to reason that school parties are an avenue through which healthy alternatives can be included in the fun.  Schools can take advantage of classroom celebrations to serve food that tastes great, is nutritious and supports nutrition education.  When school parties promote healthy, schools are helping to positively change not only the eating behaviors of children, but of parents too.”

Benefits of Healthy Celebrations

(from the Jefferson County Public Schools’ Wellness Committee)

Healthy Kids Learn Better:  Research clearly demonstrates that good nutrition is linked to better behavior and academic performance.  To provide the best possible learning environment for children, schools must also provide an environment that supports healthy behaviors.

Provides Consistent Messages:  Providing healthy classroom celebrations demonstrates a school commitment to promoting healthy behaviors.  It supports the classroom lessons students are learning about health, instead of contradicting them.  Healthy celebrations promote positive lifestyle choices to reduce student health risks and improve learning.

Promotes a Healthy School Environment:  In order to positively change eating behaviors, students need to receive consistent, reliable health information and ample opportunity to use it.  Healthy celebrations are an important part of providing a healthy school environment.

Creates Excitement About Nutrition:  Children are excited about new and different things, including fun party activities and healthy snacks.  School staff and parents need to encourage the development of good eating habits, and by their example can teach children that party food can be healthy.

Puts Food in its Proper Place:  Refreshments should compliment the fun, not become the “main event.”

How can any of us argue with those benefits?  What we all do in our individual homes is our own business, but in school, administrators must demand that the Wellness Policies are enforced, principals must enforce them, teachers must encourage parents to provide healthy foods and parents need to get on board too.  We all play an important role in helping our children learn healthy habits for life.

Smart Foodie T-Shirts For Sale

In Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 at 8:41 pm

We’re selling Smart Foodie T-Shirts for the upcoming Food Fight Movie.  Great cut shirt for women, cheap kid shirts and even shirts for men.  SFIshirt

Email smartfoodinitiative@gmail.com to place an order

Prices:

Women:  $15

Men: $12

Kid: $8