PTA Healthy Lifestyles USDA Healthier School Tools Council of PTA Passport to Healthy Lifestyle EventsNew rules on school snack sales take effect for 2014-2015 school year The United States Department of Agriculture recently released new federal nutrition guidelines for snacks sold in school. Mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the Smart Snacks in School standards restrict sales of food in school cafeterias and vending machines, requiring that all snacks sold in school contain fruits, vegetables, lean protein, or whole grains, and have limited sugar, fat, and salt. The standards complement new national nutrition rules for school lunches and breakfasts and are an important part of an overall effort to encourage and promote healthier eating among America’s children. Do the standards affect snacks and food sold after school hours, such as during sporting events or family nights? The new federal standards do not affect food sales at events that happen outside of normal school hours. PTAs can still sell candy, chips, snack cakes, chocolate bars, and whatever treats they want at Friday night football games, band concerts, and movie nights, as long as they comply with the district rules. Can we still hold bake sales at our school? Occasional in-school bake sales and other fundraisers that sell sweet food and drinks are still allowed. The new standards give states the authority to set a “reasonable threshold” for the number of school-based fundraisers that sell snacks and beverages that do not meet the nutrition guidelines. You should work with your school or district administrative leaders to determine how many of these fundraisers your organization can hold each year. There are no limits to the number of in-school fundraisers you can have with foods and drinks that meet the new nutrition requirements. Can we sell candy, sweetened popcorn, cookie dough, or other sweets for our annual fundraiser? All fundraising activity that occurs outside of school is exempt from the nutrition standards. That means you can keep selling popcorn, chocolate bars, or cookie dough to your neighbors, relatives, work colleagues, and friends. You can distribute fundraiser order forms and food items in school, as long as the food will be eaten outside the school building. Can soda and sports drinks be sold in school? The standards do not allow soda or sports drinks to be sold in elementary or middle schools during school hours. Low-calorie and calorie-free soda and sports drinks can be sold in high schools, but limits are placed on serving sizes. Can students still bring in sweets for classroom birthday parties or other celebrations? The federal standards do not apply to foods and drinks brought from home for student birthday parties and other classroom celebrations. However, many districts have wellness policies that limit the kinds of foods that can be served in classrooms, so be sure to check your district’s policy. We raise money for our organization through our vending machine sales. Will these new rules impact what we can sell in our vending machines? Since students purchase items from vending machines during school hours, all food and drinks sold from your vending machines will have to meet the new standards. The USDA is offering training and technical assistance to schools looking to identify healthier snack choices for their vending machines. Your PTA can work with your school and district administrators and nutrition manager to contact the USDA for guidance in finding food and beverage companies that sell allowable items. When do the new rules go into effect? All school snacks must meet the new standards by the start of the 2014-15 school year. To learn more about the standards, visit the USDA’s Smart Snacks in Schools page.Smart Snacks
Healthy Kids & Food Pyramid Resource Links
|There are some great sites where you can find all sorts of good information about healthy eating for your students. Most sites also have fun facts and activities you can do with your students as well.|
Healthy Kids & Fitness Resource Links
|Kids work hard to study, practice, follow approved guidelines that we structure for them on a daily basis. Not to leave out all the technology online games, console games, TV, Movies, and social activities that draws them away from physical activities. Take a moment and review those activities that will get your student(s) up and moving. Physical activities are always good and can be enjoyable by your student(s) and the entire family.|
Ideal exercises for kids and families of all ages
- Routine indoor stretching games you can do with your kids — Think of light jumping jacks and seeing who can do the most ( if you have a solid floor), stretching battles, raising your arms in the air and challenging each other to see who can keep their arms up longer, this is even better than the stare game or the no blinking game. How about turning their game console into to an active exercise tool and use some of the exercise programs instead of those famous games kids love to play.
- Other active indoor/ outdoor games — Put the remote away and organize some active indoor games. You can play tag, hide-and-seek, clean house with a healthy reward, wash the vehicle together, race across the yard, outdoor chase, Outdoor Hide-and-Seek, or Simon Says as long as you are moving and not sitting.
- Outdoors all the time games and activities — Walk to the store with your student/ family, go bike riding around the neighborhood, go site seeing and exploring at your local park, visit a playground and have a healthy picnic after tossing the ball or freebie, or do yard work together and play after in the yard. Create a scavenger hunt to find certain critters in your local park; you can add science into your daily walk.
- No kid likes chores but how about you do them together — We all know that no kid likes cleaning up their room and do not even ask about the whole house. But doing household chores together and challenging each other that whoever finds the pot of gold (small change gets to keep it) is a very effective way to get exercise in. You may not be able to afford to do this every day but for weekend cleaning, spring cleaning, and fall cleaning it sure can help. You will be surprised to find out how many calories you burn cleaning your home.
- Sign up for a Walks, Races, and outdoor cultural activities — Just walking around the Zoo or a festival will burn just as many calories as hitting the treadmill and you get to explore things you do not see daily. You will be surprised just how many calories you will burn walking about the Texas State Fair or even the Fort Worth Stock Show when they are open. Or how about participating in a Race or 5k walk event. And you get to help out to support a cause while doing so.
Advertising helps supplement this free website by DigitalPTO.com | Disable Ads Here